Two of the most iconic names in automobile history last week laid out plans for a huge electric vehicle (EV) investment drive that will see almost $50 billion channelled into the technology through the next five years.
U.S. motor giant Ford last week announced plans to invest $22 billion in EVs and a further $7 billion in autonomous vehicles through to 2025, nearly doubling its previous commitment. The money will fund the development of EVs in Ford's key product lines, the firm said, including pickup trucks, commercial vans and SUVs.
The news comes as Ford begins delivery of its all-electric Mustang Mach-E SUV, which will be followed by the firm's first E-Transit commercial van later in the year and an all-electric F-150 pickup scheduled for the mid-2020s. The firm is then preparing to expand its dedicated EV manufacturing capacity around the world, building on its current sites in Michigan (F-150), Missouri (E-Transit), Canada (SUVs), and Mexico and China (Mach-E), it said.
We are accelerating all our plans — breaking constraints, increasing battery capacity, improving costs and getting more electric vehicles into our product cycle plan.
In addition, Ford has partnered with Google to draw on the tech giant's operating system, apps and services in its EV and autonomous vehicle designs.
"We are accelerating all our plans — breaking constraints, increasing battery capacity, improving costs and getting more electric vehicles into our product cycle plan," said Ford CEO Jim Farley, averring that "the transformation of Ford is happening."
Elsewhere in the auto market, sports car manufacturer Porsche has announced plans to invest $18.1 billion in the electrification of its vehicles through the next five years. The investment will fuel the firm's journey away from the internal combustion engine as it aims to ensure 80 percent of its vehicles sold at the end of the decade are electric, CEO Oliver Blume told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag on Sunday.
More than 20,000 units of the fully electric Porsche Taycan were shipped last year, the newspaper reported — with a starting price tag of $97,029.
The firm's end-of-decade offering will include both fully electric and hybrid variants, Blume explained, although it will continue to offer its 911 model with an internal combustion engine, albeit able to handle synthetic fuels. Porsche previously has said it expects about half of the cars it sells by 2025 to be electric.
Global EV sales grew by 43 percent through 2020, despite the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, which shuttered car showrooms around the world and caused overall car sales to slump by one-fifth.