Feb 5, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Electric vehicles "arms race" gets big shot in the arm

Illustration of poker chips that say "GM," "Ford," and "FCA"
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Ford plans to invest $22 billion in vehicle electrification through 2025, an amount that's nearly double its prior plans, the company said.

Why it matters: The announcement is the latest sign of how the world's biggest carmakers are pouring more resources into tech that's still a tiny slice of the auto market.

  • "We are accelerating all our plans — breaking constraints, increasing battery capacity, improving costs and getting more electric vehicles into our product cycle plan," CEO Jim Farley said in a statement Thursday evening.

The intrigue: Ford's move comes as domestic rival GM is getting more aggressive with its EV plans and now aspires to stop selling internal combustion cars, SUVs and pickups by 2035.

What they're saying: Wedbush Securities analysts, in a note about the Ford effort, said there's an "EV arms race" underway.

  • The note cites GM's plans, reports that Apple will work with Hyundai on an electric car, new Ford investment targets, Tesla's expansion and more.
  • "We believe this speaks to...a golden age of EVs on the horizon with a green tidal wave expected in the U.S. under a Biden Administration and China seeing skyrocketing consumer demand across the board," they said.

What's next: Ford began delivering its Mustang Mach-E late last year, and this year plans to launch its electric transit van.

  • Its much-hyped all-electric version of the popular F-150 pickup arrives in mid-2022, Ford said.
  • The company also said that EVs will be "fundamental to the Lincoln luxury brand and the Transit commercial lineup."

Yes, but: As Bloomberg notes, Ford's ability to make big new investments stems partly from the large revenues from gasoline-powered trucks and SUVs it sells in high volumes.

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