At the automaker’s battery lab in suburban Detroit, Ford CEO Jim Farley announced a new $3.5 billion EV battery factory in the state on Feb. 13, 2023, to produce lithium iron phosphate batteries.
DETROIT — Ford Motors the biggest competition in electric vehicles is not the leader in the US Tesla or a crosstown rival General Motors “They are Chinese automakers,” CEO Jim Farley said Thursday.
Farley said that Chinese companies like Warren Buffett supported DWELLING they are ahead of major US automakers and startups in electric vehicles, specifically battery chemistry and other emerging technologies.
“We see the Chinese as the main competitor, not GM or Toyota,” Farley said during Morgan Stanley’s Sustainable Finance Summit.
BYD used as a prime example a Chinese automaker that has successfully developed and sold electric vehicles, first in China and now in Europe.
“I like BYD. Totally vertically integrated, aggressive … a very, very impressive company. And they’ve always been committed to electric power,” Farley said when asked which company is doing electric cars right.
BYD’s new Yangwang luxury brand is selling its first model, the U8, for more than 1 million yuan ($160,000).
CNBC | Evelyn Cheng
BYD increased its sales in China from 445,000 units in 2015 to nearly two million last year, making it one of the top five automakers by sales in China. to LMC Automotive.
Farley’s comments echo those of industry experts and investors regarding the growth of BYD and other Chinese automakers that have government backing in China.
“BYD has a huge place, both from an EV perspective and from a battery manufacturing perspective,” said Philip Ripman, portfolio manager at Storebrand Asset Management. CNBC Pro Talks last week.
Ripman, who manages the $1 billion Storebrand Global Solutions sustainable fund, highlighted BYD’s development of lower-cost sodium-ion battery technology that could potentially replace lithium batteries. He noted that they could become prevalent in BYD’s more affordable EVs and help boost the automaker’s profit margins.
Farley also noted the advantages of BYD’s batteries compared to the current US industry standard lithium-ion batteries.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is unveiled at the New York International Auto Show in Manhattan, New York on April 5, 2023.
David Dee Delgado | Reuters
Earlier this year, Ford announced a new collaboration with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. or CATL. a new $3.5 billion plant build cheaper batteries in michigan.
The facility will produce new lithium-iron phosphate batteries, or LFPs, as opposed to the more expensive nickel-cobalt-manganese lithium batteries the company currently uses. It is expected to open in 2026 and employ about 2,500 people, according to the Detroit automaker.
Farley touted BYD’s role in building the technology.
“BYD’s range is now much larger than Tesla, and they’ve developed LFP technology, which is a better battery,” Farley said.
The Ford-CATL deal has been criticized due to tensions between the US and China. Specifically, Marco Rubio the Biden administration asked review the agreement that includes the licensing of CATL technologies by Ford. The Detroit automaker will own the new facility through a wholly-owned subsidiary, rather than operating it as a joint venture with CATL.
Farley said if politics gets in the way of allowing cheaper EV technology in the US, the consumer will be “screwed” for higher prices.
“We have to work our way through that in our country. And I think these are really interesting companies,” Farley said.