Ford Motor (F) is gearing up to launch its first EVs in the Middle East in 2024. According to a report from Bloomberg, the automaker expects significant results from expanding its zero-emission lineup in the region.
Ford is launching its first EVs in the Middle East region
After climbing to become the second-largest electric vehicle maker in the US, selling over 61,000 EVs last year, Ford looks to keep the momentum rolling in 2023.
Managing director of Ford Middle East, Chris Noel, told Bloomberg Ford would launch its first EVs in six Persian Gulf countries before expanding further into the region.
Noel says the Middle East is a “very important region,” and he sees Ford EV rollout going “exceptionally well,” explaining:
We’ve seen adoption rates in some of the Middle East markets exceed the growth curve that the industry data had projected. Israel is already at 10% for battery electric vehicles.
Countries in the Middle East, such as oil-rich Saudi Arabia, are diversifying their economic interests and investing in electric technology to prepare for the inevitable EV-only future.
Meanwhile, Noel says the key to EV adoption in the region “is going to be around public-private sector participation on charging infrastructure.”
Saudi Arabia already leads the Middle East in terms of charging stations, and part of the nation’s “Vision 2030” plan to reduce emissions and put the nation on track for stable economic growth is for 30% of the total cars in its capital city of Riyadh to be electric by 2030, which will require even more infrastructure.
Noel expects EVs to account for over 10% of all vehicles in the Gulf by 2028 or sooner, claiming, “It’ll remain a growth region for the foreseeable future.”
Despite the success last year, Ford’s EV business, Model e, lost $6 billion over the past two years and is expected to lose another $3 billion in 2023.
Ford’s CEO Jim Farley said recently, “Batteries are the constraint here,” as the reason for holding production back. Noel echoed this, saying, “We just don’t have the manufacturing capacity” to build them fast enough.
To overcome this, Ford is building its “largest, most advanced and efficient auto complex” called BlueOval City. The project consists of three battery plants and an EV assembly facility to build next-generation electric F-series and lithium-ion batteries.
Ford’s EV mega-campus is expected to play a vital role in the automaker’s goal of producing two million EVs annually by 2026.