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F-150 Lightning, image courtesy Ford.

Cars

Ford Doubles EV Production Plans, GM Books 18,000 BrightDrop Orders

Ford and GM are both scrambling to be relevant as the EV revolution rolls forward.

Ford CEO Jim Farley has taken to Twitter to announce his company is doubling its EV production goal to 600,000 vehicles by 2023. Ford thinks it could be the largest US manufacturer of electric vehicles someday, overtaking Tesla. That might be possible if Tesla doesn’t keep shattering production records of its own, but with the new factory in Austin coming online soon, Farley and company are going to have to stretch some to meet their goal.

According to Automotive News, the increased production targets apply to the Mustang Mach-E, the F-150 Lightning, and the E-Transit electric cargo van. Ford has awoken from its slumber. It is planning a new production facility and EV development hub in Tennessee and has partnered with SK Innovation to build US battery factories to power all those electric vehicles.

Before it achieves its ultimate goal of being the biggest EV producer in the US, Ford is first aiming to become the second largest behind Tesla, says Engadget. According to CNBC, whether Ford can achieve that 600,000-a-year production target remains to be seen. Over at crosstown rival General Motors, Mary Barra and her merry band are expecting to sell 1 million electric vehicles by 2025 and are also ramping up production by converting existing factories and building new ones in the US in coming years.

GM Celebrates Increase In BrightDrop Orders

Image courtesy of General Motors

For its part, General Motors is pushing ahead with its plans to build its BrightDrop battery electric delivery vans. It has already booked an order for 12,600 of its EV600 vans from Merchants Fleet, the nation’s fastest growing fleet management company. According to a GM press release, Merchants Fleet has placed an additional order for 5,400 of the shorter wheelbase EV410 delivery vans that will have a range of up to 250 miles.

According to the company, the EV410 is “well-suited for faster, smaller payload deliveries or as a last-mile and traditional service vehicle. The EV410’s available gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds also reduces the need for additional operating licenses, expanding zero-emissions driving to new segments.”

Travis Katz, BrightDrop CEO, says “Merchants Fleet’s plan to purchase such a large order of our electric commercial vehicles shows they are serious about leading the fleet industry’s transformation to an all-electric future, and confident in BrightDrop’s ability to bring that vision to life. The collaboration with Merchants Fleet opens the door for other companies that want to electrify their fleets by providing access to our portfolio of electric vehicles, which is a critical step toward decreasing vehicle-related emissions in the communities where we live.”

“We are dedicated to meeting our fleet clients’ EV needs, from top to bottom,” said Merchants Fleet CEO Brendan P. Keegan. “Every fleet has different requirements, so we need to provide flexibility and offer best-in-class solutions, at every level. The electrification of fleets is no longer in the future — it is here, and we are proud to work with BrightDrop to reach diverse segments and drive this transformation forward.”

The Takeaway

Coke or Pepsi? Vanilla or chocolate? Ford or GM? No matter your preference, the EV revolution is picking up speed on a daily basis. Don’t be surprised if someday your grandkids snicker when you say you used to drive a car powered by gasoline. Most of them will have no idea why anyone would own one of those dirty, smelly contraptions.

 
 
 
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Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. 3000 years ago, Socrates said, "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Perhaps it's time we heed his advice.

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