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Ford F-150 Lighting was only the beginning: Ford is betting big on electric cars

ford f-150 lightning: power
(Image credit: Ford)

The gasoline car is eventually going to go disappear, replaced with electric. Automakers know that, and Ford is the latest company to be talking about its plans for the all-electric future. 

The details for the U.S. switchover are a little unclear, but given European government’s plans to ban gasoline cars by 2030, Ford has announced it’ll only be selling EVs there by 2030. Or possibly even sooner.

This news comes from Kumar Halhotra, Ford’s President of the Americas and International Market Group, and shortly after the reveal of the new all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup. 

Halhotra noted that the European and American markets are in very different places right now, and it’s clear when Europe will be making the transition to all-electric driving. While that’s still coming to the U.S., it’s not at a point where Ford can put a definitive date on it. 

The company does believe that it will have a better idea of what the future brings by the time the Lightning goes on sale next year. Meanwhile GM, one of Ford’s biggest competitors, is aiming for a full zero-emission light-duty line-up by 2035. Thought it has noted that consumer reaction could change that.

So while it’s good news for Europe, it’s not so good news for America. However Ford does believe it will be selling enough electric vehicles in the U.S. to enable domestic battery production by 2025.

Ford batteries could soon be made in the U.S.

Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer, told CNBC that the company doesn’t “have to scale to justify our own dedicated battery plant.” Though Thai-Tang did add that “by 2025, as we bring on the F-150, the E-Transit and another battery electric vehicle that we’ve announced, we’ll have enough volume in North America to justify our own plant." 

It’s not clear what this new electric car Thai-Thang was referring to is. Ford certainly hasn’t made any official announcements yet. So that’s something to look forward to over the coming months.

That said the exact timing of these battery-manufacturing plans will change depending on the state of the EV market, consumer demand, and Ford’s own R&D progress. So nothing is guaranteed, but it’s nice to see that Ford has some future plans laid out.

Plus being able to produce its own batteries in the U.S. has some clear advantages. There are fewer transport costs involved, especially if it’ll be assembling cars domestically. The shorter distance needed to transport finished batteries should also speed up the manufacturing process. Not having to rely on a third party also means Ford will have better control over the whole situation.

Ford has promised big investments in battery technology recently, including an investment in EV start-up Solid Power in the hopes of developing solid-state batteries for future electric cars. It also announced a $185 million investment into a new battery lab, which is another step towards manufacturing its own batteries.