‘Build Back Better’ bill is ‘mission critical’ to EV industry, says Ford CEO

Ford CEO Jim Farley is keen to see President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill passed in a bid to boost the adoption of electric vehicles in the United States.

“This is mission critical for the electric vehicle industry,” Farley said on Yahoo Finance Live.

As it stands, the Build Back Better (BBB) ​​bill would provide credits of up to $12,500 to consumers if they purchase an electric vehicle. The bill would also contribute to the development of more public charging stations.

Both aspects of the bill are seen as key to helping achieve Biden’s goal of having half of all new vehicles sold by 2030 be electric vehicles.

But after passing the U.S. House of Representatives last year, the $2.2 trillion bill died in the Senate amid concerns about the price and the potential to stoke greater inflation.

“If we don’t act together, we will be behind as a country. It’s not just about helping consumers make this transition. All battery production, all jobs, raw materials development in our country, all intellectual property. We were the number one employer in the United States in the automotive sector. We want those American jobs, those innovative technology jobs to come to America. This bill and the consumer incentives will absolutely the key to helping us do that. . We have to be competitive as a country,” Farley explained.

Farley, GM CEO Mary Barra, HP CEO Enrique Lores, and Etsy CEO Josh Silverman are among the top executives who will meet with Biden on Wednesday to discuss Build Back Better.

U.S. President Joe Biden tests the new Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck with Ford CEO Jim Farley during his visit to VDAB at the Ford Dearborn Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S. May 18, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Certainly, Ford isn’t standing still on its EV ambitions as lawmakers debate BBB.

The Detroit-based auto giant said in September 2021 it would partner with SK Innovation to invest $11.4 billion to build two “mega-sites” – one in Tennessee and the another in Kentucky – that will build electric trucks and battery packs.

Ford’s share of the investment – $7 billion – is the largest manufacturing investment in the company’s 118-year history.

Farley told Yahoo Finance Live that he would like to reach a capacity of 600,000 electric vehicles over the next 22 months.

Initial demand for Ford’s new electric vehicles such as the Mach-E, E-Transit and F-150 Lightning remains robust, according to Farley.

“I think we’re moving ahead of many competitors. Yes, a lot of people are investing – there’s a lot of investment in [EV] manufacturing. What encourages me is that in this first run, our vehicles are exhausted,” said Farley.

Brian Sozzi is editor-in-chief and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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