Ford announces plans to increase electric vehicle production to 600K by 2023

Ford Motor Company’s CEO announced that the company was planning to increase its electric vehicle (EV) production to 600,000 cars by 2023.

“The demand is so much higher than we expected,” Jim Farley said in a report by Automotive News published on Thursday, according to CNBC. “It’s a really new experience for this big company, trying to be agile. We had to approach it very differently than we’ve done capacity planning.”

The increased EV production would affect its E-Transit, Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning EVs, according to the Automotive News report, CNBC reported. Compared to what Ford originally anticipated producing over the next 24 months, the Ford CEO said the move would double those numbers.

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Additionally, over 80 percent of those who are reservation holders for the F-150 Lightning EV will soon become converted to owners, Farley said.

"Our goal is to become the clear No. 2 electric vehicle maker within the next couple years and then challenge for No. 1 as the huge investments we are making in EV and battery manufacturing come onstream and we rapidly expand our EV lineup," a Ford spokesperson told The Hill in a statement.

The EV production news comes amid a push by President BidenJoe BidenHouse passes 8B defense policy bill House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale MORE to have half of vehicle sales be electric by 2030.

Following the announcement, Ford had said at the time it anticipated that between 40 and 50 percent of its vehicle sales would be electric by then.

In an effort to ramp up its production, Ford earlier this year signaled it would be investing in more resources in Kentucky and Tennessee to up its EV production.

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Ford announced in September that it, along with South Korea’s SK Innovation, would be investing more than $11 billion dollars to go toward a pickup truck factory and three new battery plants. Ford said that 11,000 jobs would be created for those two states.

The issue of EVs has also been taken up in the Democratic climate change and social spending bill, which proposes providing more tax credits to EVs that are union-made. Among those supporting the push are Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. 

However, not all Democrats are on board, including Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin warns about inflation as Democrats pursue Biden spending bill Overnight Health Care — Biden mandate faces Dem resistance Exporting gas means higher monthly energy bills for American families MORE (D-W.Va.) who spoke at a Toyota event in West Virginia earlier this month. Toyota is one of a few companies against the proposal.

“When I heard about this, what they were putting in the bill, I went right to the sponsor [Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowStabenow calls for expansion of school mental health services The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - New vaccine mandate in NYC; Biden-Putin showdown The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Omicron tests vaccines; Bob Dole dies at 98 MORE (D-Mich.)] and I said, ‘This is wrong. This can’t happen. It’s not who we are as a country. It’s not how we built this country, and the product should speak for itself,' ” Manchin said to Automotive News during the Toyota event.

“We shouldn’t use everyone’s tax dollars to pick winners and losers. If you’re a capitalist economy that we are in society then you let the product speak for itself, and hopefully, we’ll get that, that’ll be corrected,” he added. 

Updated: Nov. 20, 2021, 2:45 p.m.