A few months ago, former Ford CEO Jim Hackett said Ford had no advantage in building its own batteries for its electric vehicles. Now the New CEO Jim Farley reversed the company’s position, saying on Friday that making its own electric vehicles would actually be a pretty solid way for Ford to create more jobs.
Farley spoke at the Reuters Automotive Summit teleconference on Friday, where he commented on the growth in the electric vehicle market and the very viable concerns that accompany it:
We are discussing (bafabrication of cells. I think it’s natural like [EV] the volume increases. “
The point is, electric vehicles have 40% fewer parts, which means they’re much easier to assemble. We have to solve the reality: when electrification becomes 25 or 50% of our industry in the coming years, what do we do for jobs? One of the obvious choices is that of cell production.
The fact that an EV is less heavy than its internal combustion engine counterparts has been of great concern to autoworkers watching the rising tide of electrification. It has been very difficult for most companies to reconcile the disparity between wanting to switch to electricity and wanting to create more jobs.
Creating an internal battery will be difficult and, from Hackett’s perspective, wouldn’t make much sense for Ford if there are viable and well-designed batteries available. battery cells that require very little effort to install in a car. And from a business standpoint, he was not wrong. If you’re specifically looking for how you can cut down on manpower in order to make a bigger profit, outsourcing a battery cell isn’t a big deal.
After all, GM and Tesla are two companies that have invested billion by setting up their own factories to manufacture battery cells, which is… a lot of money.
Farley seems to be a lot more concerned with the human element, which is probably a good thing, especially in this economic climate. People need jobs, and Ford’s building its own battery cells would open up a whole new manual.
Ford’s next electric models will of course house battery cells from outside suppliers.