Ford Motor Company has signaled it may reverse course on its decision not to build battery cells for its own electric vehicles. Company CEO Jim Farley says building batteries is back on the table.
“We are discussing (battery) cell manufacturing,” Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley said Friday at the Reuters Automotive Summit teleconference. “I think that’s natural as (EV) volume grows.”
He went on to explain that electric vehicles inherently have fewer parts and are easier to build. Their relative manufacturing simplicity will create a situation in which Ford and other automakers have more employees than they need. Concerned what to do with all of those jobs in the future, battery manufacturing is a possible new function for Ford’s workforce.
Farley’s position is a complete reversal of the policy held by his predecessor, Jim Hackett. Hackett had repeatedly stated publicly that Ford had no intention of manufacturing batteries for its own electric vehicles. Hackett’s position ran counter to rivals, such as General Motors, who is investing heavily into producing its own batteries under its Ultium brand.
Currently Ford procures batteries for its Mustang Mach E and E-Transit battery-electric vehicles from LG. LG produces the cells on a dedicated assembly line in Poland.