Ford should be selling enough electric vehicles in North America to produce its own battery cells locally by 2025, an executive with the automaker told CNBC.
The broadcaster said the timeline was a reversal in the company’s strategy under former CEO Jim Hackett. Producing battery cells internally is expected to be key for automakers to cut costs of EVs and secure sourcing for an expected surge in demand this decade.
“We don’t have to scale today to justify our own dedicated battery plant,” Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer, said in an interview with CNBC. “But by 2025, as we bring on the F-150, the E-Transit and another battery electric vehicle that we’ve announced, we’ll have enough volume in North America to justify our own plant.”
The exact timing of production hinges on the EV market, consumer demand as well as R&D progress, Ford spokeswoman Jennifer Flake told CNBC. The company, she said, “could be in a position” to be producing its own EV cells by 2025.
Ford launched the Mustang Mach-E BEV in the US at the end of 2020 and expects to follow it with an all-electric Transit van later this year and an EV version of the F-150 pickup by mid-2022. The company has not disclosed details of another new EV mentioned by Thai-Tang, CNBC noted.
Thai-Tang said a single battery cell facility could produce today’s lithium-ion batteries as well as solid state. The batteries can be lighter, with greater energy density that provides more range at a lower cost. But they are currently more costly than lithium-ion batteries and early in development.