Ford plans to increase EV production to 600,000 vehicles by 2023

Ford CEO Jim Farley poses with Ford F-150 Lightning pickup in Dearborn, Michigan, May 19, 2021.

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

Ford Motor plans to increase its production capacity of electric vehicles to 600,000 units globally by 2023, which CEO Jim Farley expects will make the company the second largest US-based manufacturer of electric cars, behind Tesla.

Farley said the increase would double the number of electric cars the company had initially expected to produce over the next 24 months, according to a report Thursday from Automotive News. This production is expected to be spread over Ford̵[ads1]7;s first three new electric cars: Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning and E-Transit. It will come before production is expected to begin at a recently announced EV assembly facility in Tennessee, according to the Detroit-based publication.

“Demand is so much higher than we expected,” Farley said. “It’s a really new experience for this big company, trying to be agile. We had to approach it very differently than we did capacity planning.”

It is unclear whether 600,000 would place it in second place behind Tesla. General Motors plans to sell 1 million electric vehicles globally by 2025. Tesla said in its third-quarter investor update that the installed annual capacity of the vehicle assembly plant in Fremont, California, is 600,000, and in Shanghai more than 450,000 cars per year. The company is also building new factories near Austin, Texas and Berlin.

A GM spokesman said the carmaker was approaching 300,000 EV sales globally during the first nine months of this year, mainly in China. GM also plans to convert at least four North American factories that currently produce vehicles with internal combustion engines to be able to produce electric cars in the coming years, in addition to factories in China and Michigan that already produce such vehicles.

In connection with the increase in EV capacity, Farley said that Ford plans to convert more than 80% of reservation holders for its upcoming F-150 Lightning EV into owners. Ford says more than 160,000 reservations requiring a fully refundable $ 100 security deposit have been placed for the vehicle before it reaches dealers by mid-2022.

– CNBC Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.

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