Ford Changes Battery Strategy Adopting That of Tesla's
Ford realizes its strategy isn't viable and adopts Tesla's battery strategy, planning to produce its own cells for future Ford EVs.
"With Ford announcing the most recent addition to its planned fleet of electric cars last Thursday when it introduced the E-Transit van, it now has plans to produce three all-electric vehicles, as the Mustang Mach-E and the E F-150 pickup joined the van. Ultimately, the decision to produce its own cells in one of its production facilities will bring down costs as sourcing materials and building the batteries will cut expenses. However, Farley is much more interested in avoiding supply constraints instead of worrying about the price," writes Joey Klender in Teslarati.
He reports that Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley has flipped his company’s stance on whether it will produce EV battery cells for its electric cars. After previous CEO Jim Hackett stated that Tesla’s strategy to produce its own lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles had “no advantage,” Farley seems to recognize the positives of manufacturing cells and says it is “absolutely” interested in utilizing the same methods as the world’s leading electric automaker.
Farley was speaking during a recent automotive conference hosted by Reuters when he was asked about Ford’s strategy for sourcing batteries and cell materials. After a question that pointed toward Ford’s potential to produce its own cells instead of sourcing them from third-party suppliers, Farley replied, “Absolutely, we’re discussing it as a team.”
Joey also notes that "this is not the first time a legacy automaker has first criticized Tesla, only to reverse their stance later on. General Motors once stated that Tesla was “graveyard-bound” because of its production strategies. A few years later, GM drew inspiration for a million-mile battery cell, similar to what Tesla has chased after several years."
Tesla is so ahead with its battery endeavors. How long do you think it will take Ford to catch up?
One person, commenting under Teslarati's article about Ford's battery cell Tesla-like strategy, writes, "Tesla has another manufacturing advantage by building new factories specifically designed to efficiently manufacture battery cells and BEVs, while the rest of the ICE industry has to retrofit their many current facilities worldwide, which will be more costly and less efficient in many ways. Tesla's vertical integration is another advantage that ICE manufacturers just won't be able to obtain since they are all mostly 'assembly' companies that buy most everything from suppliers.
"Just as you stated, Tesla is so far ahead, the competition can't even comprehend the magnitude. From product design/engineering, technology, BEV manufacturing/engineering, cell design, cell manufacturing, etc. It's like asking a five-year-old if they want 5 dollars or a trillion dollars. Of course, the child will want the 5 dollars because they know what that is, but no concept of what a trillion dollars would be.
"But maybe the wide variance is tied to the mission. Tesla's mission is for global sustainable transportation and energy. While the competition's mission is selling the best product they can making the most profit possible."
Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded TorqueNews.com in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.