Ford Motor Co. CEO calls for more domestic mining
Ford Motor Co. president and chief executive officer Jim Farley announced his support for domestic mining and processing of the critical minerals needed for the production of electric vehicles.
Speaking at the Detroit Homecoming event, Farley said making electric vehicles more affordable should be a top priority for automakers. To do so, Farley said the United States needs to address the supply chain issue for minerals such as lithium and cobalt.
The Detroit News reported that Farley there is an issue of battery supply and minerals such as lithium and cobalt to power them, said Farley.
“We have to bring battery production here, but the supply chain has to go all the way to the mines. That’s where the real cost is and people in the U.S. don’t want mining in their neighborhoods,” said Farley.
“So are we going to import lithium and pull cobalt from nation-states that have child labor and all sorts of corruption or all we going to get serious about mining? ... We have to solve these things and we don't have much time.”
Farley also said a key issue is how production will impact labor concerns since it costs 30 percent less to manufacture the electrical vehicles.
“I’m deeply worried about the affordability,” said Farley Saturday during a discussion as part of the Detroit Homecoming VIII events. “Average people cannot afford these vehicles and we have a lot of work to do to make them more affordable. ... That’s the one that keeps me up at night.”
Detroit Homecoming has been an annual event, since 2014, which brings notable ex-Detroiters back to the city to inspire city residents and re-engage them through their individual accomplishments and achievements.
Regarding electric vehicles, Farley said Executive Chairman Bill Ford “had a vision for this 20 years ago."
“The (EV version of the F150) is completely sold out in Europe ... in the U.S, in China,” said Farley, whose grandfather worked at the Rouge plant. “We have a 150,000 orders and the truck isn’t just fast ... it’s very fast but it can power your house for three days. I think this will really change electrification.”
Farley added that “the first generation of electric owners don’t work small commuter, economy (vehicles). ... They want Mustangs, they want pickup trucks, they want utility vans,” said Farley. “They want the best products.”