Ford Says It’ll Have the Batteries To Build 600K EVs in 2023
The new lithium iron phosphate packs won’t be as energy-dense as lithium-ion, but they’ll be cheaper and more durable.
Ford has secured enough battery supplies to produce 600,000 electric vehicles annually starting late 2023, the automaker announced Thursday. It says it can meet that mark partly by offering new lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery options in both the F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E, which will be cheaper and easier to source materials for.
In a wide-ranging announcement on battery supply, Ford said it has contracts that'll net it 60 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of annual battery supply starting late next year. Ford said the supply can offer a "run rate" of 600,000 EVs produced annually—effectively meaning it's on pace to reach that rate late next year. Of those 600,000, the F-150 Lightning and E-Transit will make up a quarter respectively, while the Mach-E will account for 270,000 vehicles, and a new SUV for Europe will account for another 30,000 starting 2024.
The additional model will contribute to what Ford expects to be meteoric growth in EV production, as Ford's run rate also forecasts reaching 2 million EVs produced annually by 2026. Ford says it has already secured 70 percent of the batteries it'll need to scale production that quickly, having made deals with major suppliers such as CATL and LG Energy Solutions. The company also confirmed it has gotten into directly sourcing raw materials, which will partly feed its trio of battery factories in Kentucky and Tennessee.
A major component of Ford's battery boom will stem from the introduction of LFP batteries. Coming to North American-market Mach-Es next year, then Lightnings in 2024, these batteries don't have the energy density of more widely used lithium-ion packs, and thus lack range, but they still have significant advantages. They're cheaper, have significantly longer life cycles, are safer, and aren't as reliant on rare minerals such as nickel. Ford plans to build 40 GWh worth of LFP production capacity in North America by 2026, on top of its three aforementioned battery factories. It'll no doubt play a pivotal role in Ford's goal for half its production to be EVs by 2030.
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