Ford calls on U.S. government to support batteries, charging infrastructure

by SpeedLux
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Ford’s CEO on Wednesday called on the U.S. government to support battery production and charging infrastructure development, as he laid out the automaker’s plan to develop electric platforms for its top-selling trucks, vans and SUVs.

“We need to bring large-scale battery production to the U.S.,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said at a financial conference, adding that he prepared to highlight the issue in talks with government leaders.

President Joe Biden is meeting with lawmakers Wednesday to talk about how to secure supplies of electric vehicle batteries, semiconductors used in automobiles, rare earth and pharmaceuticals.

Policy support for boosted U.S. production of EV batteries and better-charging infrastructure for electric commercial vehicles will help drive demand for those automobiles, Farley said.

“We can’t go through what we’re doing now with chips,” he said, referring to the shortage of imported semiconductors that has resulted in the temporary shutdown of several U.S. auto plants.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra is set to speak to investors at the same conference later Wednesday.

Most of Ford’s profit comes from the sale of big pickups in the United States. The automaker plans to release an all-electric version of its best-selling F-series pick up later this year, followed by an electric version of its large Transit van. Ford has not provided details for its electrification plans for its SUV lineup.

The automaker will work with partners to develop electric vehicle architectures for less profitable automobiles in Europe and China, Farley said.

He said Ford expects to release a commercial automated vehicle business by 2025 and is working now on a strategy that could include automated delivery of goods.

He also said the automaker wants to build recurring revenues from both digital services and physical services, such as vehicle charging and repairs, particularly for its increasing base of commercial customers.

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