Ford CEO Jim Farley poses with the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck in Dearborn, Michigan, May 19, 2021.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters
Ford Motor plans to increase its electric vehicle production capacity to 600,000 units worldwide by 2023, making the company the second largest US electric vehicle manufacturer after Tesla.
According to a report by Automotive News Thursday, Farley said the increase would double the number of electric vehicles the company originally expected in the next 24 months. That production is expected to be spread across Ford’s first three new electric vehicles: Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning and E-Transit. It would come before production was due to begin at a newly announced EV assembly plant in Tennessee, according to the Detroit-based publication.
“Demand is so much higher than we expected,” said Farley. “It’s a really new experience for this large company to try to be agile. We had to go about it very differently than we did with capacity planning.”
It’s unclear whether 600,000 would place it second behind Tesla. General Motors plans to sell 1 million electric vehicles worldwide by 2025. Tesla said in its third quarter investor update that annual installed capacity at its vehicle assembly plant in Fremont, California is 600,000 and Shanghai is more than 450,000 cars per year. The company is also building new factories near Austin, Texas and Berlin.
A GM spokesman said the automaker was approaching 300,000 EV sales worldwide in the first nine months of this year, mostly in China. GM also plans to convert at least four North American plants currently producing internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles in the coming years, in addition to plants in China and Michigan that already produce such vehicles.
In the context of increasing EV capacity, Farley said Ford plans to convert more than 80% of reservation holders to owners of its upcoming F-150 Lightning EV. Ford says more than 160,000 reservations have been made for the vehicle prior to its arrival at dealerships through mid-2022, which require a fully refundable security deposit of $ 100.
– CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.