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Ford CEO says the company plans to challenge Tesla as global EV leader


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Ford CEO Jim Farley at the company’s Dearborn, Michigan, plant where it’s building the electric F-150 Lightning on April 26, 2022.
CNBC | Michael Wayland

DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford Motor plans to challenge Tesla in becoming the global leader in electric vehicles, CEO Jim Farley said Tuesday.

The goal is the most ambitious yet for the Detroit automaker in its electric vehicle push. Farley has previously said the company plans to be the second best-selling automaker of EVs in the U.S., behind Tesla, by mid-decade.

“We plan to challenge Tesla and all comers to become the top EV maker in the world,” Farley said during a production launch event for the electric F-150 Lightning pickup. “That’s something that no one would have believed just two years ago from us. They’re going to look at this truck and believe it.”

Farley declined to put a timeframe on when the company could top Tesla. However, he said it will come down to product execution over the next four years and said the company has “every intention” of being the top electric pickup maker in the world.

“All we can control is the next four years, the next cycle of product,” Farley told reporters after the event, citing upcoming new products as well as investments in new supplies of vehicle batteries and technologies.

Ford has a lot to do to catch Tesla. The company plans to have the capability of producing 600,000 EVs by next year, including 150,000 F-150 Lightnings and 200,000 Ford Mach-E crossovers, Farley said. That compares with Tesla that delivered more than 930,000 EVs last year.

Ford said it plans to have the capacity to produce 2 million EVs globally by 2026.

Ford is ramping-up its production of the F-150 Lightning quicker than competitors, including Rivian Automotive and General Motors.

Farley said Ford has already produced 2,000 F-150 Lightnings during the vehicle’s first two weeks of production at a plant in Dearborn, Michigan. Rivian, which started production last fall, produced about 2,500 vehicles, including R1T electric pickups, during the first quarter.

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