Ford accelerates transition to electric with landmark investment

The American automaker has announced the creation of four factories in the United States, representing an investment of 11.4 billion dollars with 11,000 jobs at stake by 2025.

Ford gave a strong impetus to its electric transition by announcing Monday, September 27 the creation of four factories in the United States with its South Korean partner SK innovation, representing an investment of 11.4 billion dollars with the key 11,000 jobs at the horizon 2025. The American automaker said that two battery factories would be installed in Kentucky, in the center of the United States. A third battery plant will be built in western Tennessee, along with a new vehicle plant that is expected to start producing F-Series electric vehicles by 2025.

Ford will invest a total of $ 7 billion, which is part of the $ 30 billion already announced earlier this year. SK Innovation will pay the remainder. This is the largest investment ever made in Ford’s 118-year history in new manufacturing plants, the manufacturer said. This investment supports “The company’s longer-term goal of creating a sustainable American manufacturing ecosystem and accelerating its progress towards carbon neutrality (…) in accordance with the Paris climate agreement”.

Ford has also revised upwards its electric fleet objectives since it now expects 40 to 50% of its global sales volume to be entirely electric by 2030 against 40% still estimated in the spring. . “This is a transformative time where Ford will lead America’s transition to electric vehicles and usher in a new era of clean, carbon neutral manufacturing.”, reacted the executive chairman of Ford, Bill Ford, quoted in the press release. Patriotic, he felt that, combined with “A spirit of innovation”, the group will reconcile what was once considered incompatible: protect the planet, build “Great electric vehicles that Americans will love” while contributing to the prosperity of the United States.

“Providing revolutionary electric vehicles for the many rather than the few. “

Jim Farley, Chief Executive Officer of Ford

The news comes amid strong demand for the new F-150 Lightning pickup vehicle and for other electric models such as the Ford Group’s E-Transit and Mustang Mach-E. Like its compatriot GM, the manufacturer is also striving to catch up with the Tesla group, a forerunner in this niche. Under the pressure of public opinion, customers and investors increasingly sensitive to the environmental issue, many manufacturers have started a turn towards the electrification of vehicles in order to reduce polluting emissions. But until recently, the shift to electric was not so marked.

Jim Farley, chief executive of Ford, highlighted the issue: “To provide revolutionary electric vehicles for the greatest number rather than for a few”, allusion to the fact that electric vehicles like Tesla’s remain expensive and therefore inaccessible to middle-class families. At the same time, he explains that it is a question of creating “Good jobs that support American families”, thus taking up a theme dear to the American president.

Joe Biden has made the shift to a greener automobile a priority. Ford’s announcement will give a boost to Democrats who are pushing through Congress this week for their massive infrastructure investment plan of some $ 1 trillion. They want to take measures in favor of the environment and insist that this could create millions of jobs for the future. In the initial project, the infrastructure plan provided for the construction of a national network of 500,000 charging stations by 2030 and the switch to electricity for 20% of the famous yellow school bus buses.

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