Jim Farley, the CEO of Ford, has warned about the future costs of key raw materials for the manufacture of electric cars. He points out that he does not expect the costs of these raw materials to come down anytime soon. And precisely this recent increase, and the upward trend, is what has led brands like Tesla, or Ford itself, to raise their prices considerably for different models. We can prepare ourselves because ‘electric cars are not going to drop in price’, at least in the short term.
Just this week, Ford CEO Jim Farley told reporters at an event at the Michigan Assembly Plant that he “doesn’t think there’s going to be much short-term relief in the price of lithium, cobalt, and nickel. ” ‘. Precisely for this reason, there are many companies, dedicated to the manufacture of batteries for electric cars, that are looking for new chemicals based on sodium and other materials. The scarcity of some of the critical materials to make batteries is what is causing, as demand rises, prices to accompany this growth. And the problem is that the endpoint is none other than much more expensive cars, but with the same features.
Electric cars are going up in price and things aren’t going to change anytime soon
In these statements, the CEO of Ford has pointed out that the increase in costs, caused by the growth in the prices of the minerals used in lithium-ion batteries, is the reason why LFP batteries are going to be used. At the moment they already plan that the Mustang Mach-e use LFP batteries manufactured by CATL. These types of batteries do not use nickel or cobalt, although they do need lithium, and therefore are much cheaper. Of course, the reality is that its energy density is somewhat lower than that offered by other chemicals such as NCA batteries or NCM batteries.
Recently, Ford itself has had to increase the prices of the Ford F-150 Lightning by between $6,000 and $8,500 depending on the version, just as Tesla has done with some of its models and configurations. Some time ago we commented that it is urgent to switch to LFP batteries precisely because of this, and now some manufacturers are having to make the change at a forced pace. After introducing LFP batteries in its Mustang Mach-e, Ford already plans to do the same thing with its F-150 Lightning starting in 2024.
But other alternatives are also being studied. Ford itself, along with BMW, has invested in Solid Power. It is a startup, based in Colorado, that this year will deliver the first solid-state batteries to both manufacturers. This type of battery, as we already know, will give rise to electric cars with greater autonomy, shorter charging times, and, in addition, a lower risk of fire. It is the ‘great promise’ of the electric car, and it will completely change the panorama of the sector.
All manufacturers are trying to move as quickly and efficiently as possible. The current situation is problematic because there is a huge dependence on Chinese suppliers and, in addition, a shortage of materials that are critical for the manufacture of these batteries. The prices of electric cars are rising and, at the moment, the situation is not expected to change in the short term.