The Ford Motor Company is going full throttle toward electric vehicle manufacturing, but that decision will cost the Michigan-based carmaker billions this year alone.
Ford said Thursday that it expects its EV division will lose $3 billion in 2023 as it pushes to produce more vehicles and build electric battery plants in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Michigan, The Financial Times reported. The carmaker wasn’t surprised by the massive loss of money as it views its EV division, known as Model e, as a “start-up.”
“Ford Model e is an EV start-up within Ford and, as everyone knows, EV start-ups lose money while they invest in capability, develop knowledge, build volume and gain share,” said John Lawler, Ford’s chief financial officer.
Despite the losses, Ford continues to push forward and hopes to manufacture two million EVs a year by 2026 and hit an 8% profit margin for its EV division. The company is chasing Elon Musk’s Tesla for EV sales in the U.S. and remains far behind the electric car giant. Tesla, which started in 2003, lost money for ten years before finally turning a profit in 2013. Musk’s company made $12.6 billion in 2022, an impressive jump from $5.5 billion in 2021.
Ford plans to explain its financials in more detail to investors and how it will stick to its goal of selling only zero-carbon emission vehicles by 2040, according to The Financial Times. Ford is relying on Ford Blue, its gas-powered vehicle production, to fund the carmaker’s transition to EVs.
Ford Blue is expected to rake in $7 billion this year, and the company’s commercial vehicles division, Ford Pro, is expected to double last year’s earnings to $6 billion this year. Lawler blamed spending on new battery plants and battery technology for the carmaker’s EV losses.
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Last month, the carmaker was criticized for collaborating with a Chinese company to build a battery plant in Michigan. In its proposal, Ford said it would partner with the Chinese company Contemporary Amperex Technology on the plant that would employ 2,500 people when it begins production in 2026.
Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin withdrew his state from consideration for the new battery plant because of Ford’s partnership with the Chinese company. Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, however, has pushed for the battery plant to come to the Great Lakes State and celebrated Ford’s decision to build the plant in Michigan.