Automaker Ford is improving its strategies for increasing EV production, and it will rely in part on new battery materials to do it.
Along with its current nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) chemistry, Ford is expanding its selection of cell chemistries with lithium iron phosphate (LFP).
Ford anticipated reaching a global manufacturing pace of 600,000 EVs per year by late 2023, beginning with Mustang Mach-Es marketed in North America (in 2023) and F-150 Lightnings (in early 2024).
“Ford’s new electric vehicle lineup has generated huge enthusiasm and demand, and now we are putting the industrial system in place to scale quickly,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s president and CEO and president of Ford Model e.
“Our Model e team has moved with speed, focus and creativity to secure the battery capacity and raw materials we need to deliver breakthrough EVs for millions of customers.”
The chemistry is expected to increase Ford's capacity, enable "many years" of use with minimal range loss, lower production costs, and lessen reliance on elements like nickel that are subject to shortages.
At that 600,000-EV rate, 270,000 Mustang Mach-Es will be produced, with the majority of those going to China, Europe, and North America.
The remaining EVs in North America will be made up of 30,000 units of an unnamed European SUV and 150,000 electric Transit vans.
The F-150 Lightning will account for 150,000 of these.
Ford claimed that it has acquired all of the battery capacity needed each year to meet this goal and 70% of the capacity required to meet a more ambitious goal of 2 million EVs annually by late 2026.
To reach its battery capacity goal for late 2023, Ford planned to also make use of its strategic alliance with SK On and its long-standing partnership with LG Energy Solution (LGES).
In order to accommodate the incremental NCM cell manufacturing for Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit models, longtime supplier LGES scaled up rapidly and increased its capacity at its Wroclaw, Poland, facility.
Additionally, through late 2023, SK On will be able to scale the manufacturing of Ford's high-volume F-150 Lightning and E-Transits by increasing the output of NCM cells from its Atlanta facility and adding new battery cells capacity from its Hungary business.
The information was released shortly after a claim that Ford may eliminate up to 8,000 positions in order to finance its EV aspirations.
With a pledge to invest $50 billion in electrification, the company recently separated into combustion and electric vehicle (EV) divisions to aid in the transition to electricity.
The 600,000-EV manufacturing goal was one that Ford had previously proposed.
But a more precise picture of how that expansion will occur is provided by battery advances and a shorter time span.
The corporation is under increasing pressure to increase its manufacturing as things stand.
The company only produced 27,140 electric vehicles in 2021 and has a huge backlog; you can't even make a basic retail order for the 2022 Mach-E "due to high demand."
The upgraded scale is partially a matter of catching up as well as a means of preparing for an all-electric future.
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