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Ford Plans to Build 600,000 EVs Annually by 2023, Over 2 Million by 2026

F 150 Lightning charging a Mustang Mach E
Ford expects demand for its F-150 Lightning, Mach-E and the rest of its EV portfolio to grow significantly over the next few year.

What's happening

Ford announced its plans to ramp global electric truck, van and SUV production up to 600,000 units annually by 2023.

Why it matters

Demand for EVs (and the batteries that power them) is expected to accelerate dramatically over the next few years.

What's next

Ford will begin using new, less expensive batteries in the Mustang Mach-E next year and in the F-150 Lightning by 2024.

A question often raised by electric vehicle naysayers, believers and manufacturers alike is, where are we going to get the materials and batteries to power all of these EVs? Ford is confident that it has the answer, announcing Thursday that it has secured materials contracts that will enable a global production capacity of around 600,000 EVs annually by late 2023 and scale to an annual output of over 2 million vehicles by 2026.

Ford cites an EY study saying more than half (52%) of global consumers intending to buy a car in the next two years intend to choose an EV or hybrid electric vehicle. Here in the US, that number drops to 29% of surveyed shoppers, but that's still a lot of demand for electric cars and the batteries to run them. Ford's supply chain solution is twofold: It's diversifying its battery chemistries and partnering with multiple battery and materials suppliers around the world to build the 60 gigawatt hours' worth of battery capacity it'll need each year to meet demand.

The automaker says that it will begin adding lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cell chemistry into its product portfolio alongside the current nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) packs beginning with the Mustang Mach-E next year and the F-150 Lightning electric pickup in 2024. LFP has the advantage of using less rare materials in its chemistry, making it easier to source and less expensive per kilowatt-hour, about 10% to 15% less expensive according to Ford's estimates.

Ford's announced partnerships with Contemporary Amperex Technology, LG Energy Solutions and SK On will support the full goal of 600,000 global EVs annually. Ford said it expects it'll be building 270,000 Mustang Mach-Es for North America, Europe and China, 150,000 North American F-150 Lightnings and 150,000 Transit EVs for North America and Europe each year by the end of 2023. The automaker also has plans to introduce an annual run of 30,000 examples of an all-new European SUV within the same time frame.

Looking further down the line, Ford expects EV adoption rates to continue to accelerate over the next decade. To keep up with the growth, it's also announced a goal of an annual run of 2 million EVs globally by 2026 and that it has sourced about 70% of the future materials capacity needed (about 1.4 million cars' worth) toward hitting this mark. The plan includes around 40 GWh per year of LFP production capacity and utilization in North America by 2026 along with continued cooperation with CATL for global battery supply. Other direct partnerships with mining companies will provide Ford with sourcing of battery raw materials in North America, Australia, Indonesia and other global sources.