To hit this target, Ford announced today that it is increasing spending on electric vehicles to more than $30 billion by 2025, up from past pledges to spend $22 billion. The money will go to new electric models and development of its own IonBoost batteries—akin to General Motors, which developed its Ultium battery system. In both cases the automakers are partnered with established battery cell makers. Ford Ion Park is a facility being created to develop and test better battery cells and BlueOvalSK is a joint venture with SK Innovation to manufacture battery cells at two U.S. plants in the future.
Ford Prioritizing Commercial Vehicle Customers
“This is our biggest opportunity for growth and value creation since Henry Ford started to scale the Model T, and we’re grabbing it with both hands,” Farley said.
Another key prong of Farley’s strategy is dropping the past transactional approach that centered on building and selling vehicles. Ford is developing a host of services and apps that will keep customers connected to Ford though the life of their vehicles.
The ability to provide over-the-air updates makes it possible to fix vehicles wirelessly but also to update them and add new features and services, some free and some for a fee. These advances are possible using Blue Oval Intelligence, Ford’s next-generation, cloud-based platform for integrating electrical, power distribution, computing and software systems in connected Ford and Lincoln vehicles.
By year end, Ford expects to have 1 million vehicles on the road capable of receiving over-the-air updates, growing to 33 million by 2028. The Dearborn automaker says it should surpass Tesla’s volume by July 2022.