Ford Is Focusing on Electrifying its Vehicles to Reduce CO2 Emissions

by | Mar 24, 2023

Frito_lay Fort Electric Fleet

(Credit: Ford)

Ford Motor Company is an American car company, which is second in size to General Motors in this country. It is the fifth-largest car maker globally, behind Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and GM, based on vehicle production. During the financial crisis of 2007–08. the company struggled, although it did not require a federal bailout. It has long since returned to profitability, earning over $136 billion in 2022. It employs nearly 183,000 people in 43 countries.

It is now committed to electrifying its cars and vans — one of the critical steps it is taking to reach its net-zero goal by 2050.

“Climate change, for example, is among the biggest challenges of our generation. We all share the responsibility to address the threat it poses to our economy, our health, and our way of life. Just like the Model T revolutionized mobility, we believe electrification can do the same for reducing carbon emissions,” say Executive Chair Bill Ford and Chief Executive Jim Farley, in the company’s annual report. “So, we have been transforming our business to lead the electric revolution at scale, creating distinct but complementary businesses – Ford Model e, Ford Blue, and Ford Pro – that will help us compete and win in the new era of electric and connected vehicles.

“We are also leading a new era of sustainable manufacturing, rethinking not just what we build, but how we build,” they add. “Around the world, we are dedicating more than $50 billion through 2026 to accelerate our zero-emission vehicle plan and create an ultra-efficient manufacturing system for our vehicles and the batteries that power them, helping us achieve our goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Our aspiration is to achieve a business model that goes beyond net zero and becomes a net positive for both the environment and the economy.”

Its climate goals: 

— a 76% reduction in Scopes 1 and 2 greenhouse emissions by 2035 from a 2017 base year, approved by Science Based Targets Initiative. 

— a 50% reduction in Scope 3 GHG emissions per vehicle kilometer from using sold products by 2035 from a 2019 base year, approved by Science Based Targets Initiative. 

— a $50 billion planned global investment in EVs, including battery production, from 2022 through 2026. This will double the company’s electric vehicle capacity to 600,000 units by 2023.

— 100% of European passenger vehicles will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2026, and utterly all-electric by 2030. Two-thirds of European commercial vehicle sales will be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030, and all European commercial vehicles will be zero emission by 2035.

— 50% of Ford’s global sales to be electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030

“Ford is the leader in commercial trucks and vans in Europe and North America, so the transition of fleet vehicles to zero emissions is critical to achieving our carbon neutrality goal by 2050,” says CEO Farley. “Ford is leading the charge with the all-electric Transit, providing a huge advantage for customers to help lower their operating costs and provide connected fleet management technologies to help their businesses.”

What is Ford focusing on when it comes to achieving carbon neutrality?

It is zeroing in on three areas that account for 95% of its CO2 emissions: vehicles, operations, and supply chain. To achieve net zero, it will electrify its cars, including the Mustang, the F-150 truck, and the E-Transit. By 2026, it will produce more than 2 million EVs. By 2030, EVs will represent half of the global volume: two-thirds of European commercial vehicle sales will be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030, and all European commercial vehicles will be zero emission by 2035. 

It is also investing in EV technology and charging infrastructure. It has already plowed $50 billion into electric vehicles and battery production from 2022 through 2026. 

Moreover, it invests in sustainable manufacturing to create an ultra-efficient, carbon-neutral manufacturing ecosystem. “Our new mega-sites in Tennessee and Kentucky are ushering in an era of sustainable electric vehicle manufacturing.” Improved energy efficiency and conservation at its facilities and manufacturing processes have reduced greenhouse gas levels by 35% since 2017. It aims to run its manufacturing facilities on 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030 by investing in wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, and biomass.

And it is working with its suppliers to reduce their emissions and develop science-based reduced targets aligned with the Paris agreement. For example, it says that Ford joined RouteZero. This global coalition aims to have all new cars and vans with zero emissions by 2040 or earlier — building on President Biden’s agenda to reduce GHG emissions in the United States by 50-52% by 2030, and have 50% of its global sales volume being EVs by 2030. 

“Addressing climate change is a global issue that no company, industry, country, or organization can achieve on its own,” the company says. “It will require collaboration to drive progress. 76% target emissions reduction in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2035 from a 2017 base year 50% reduction in Scope 3 GHG emission per vehicle kilometer from use of sold products by 2035 from a 2019 base year.” 

Its shares its conservation techniques among its value chain, notably 80 key suppliers through its Partnership for a Cleaner Environment (PACE) program that has implemented projects in at least 13 countries. “Supplier participation has increased from 2020 to 2021 by over 60%. As a result, FastPACE suppliers are on track to save an estimated 4,909 metric tons of CO2 and 24 million gallons of water over the next three years.”

Vehicle use is the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions. Based on 2021 sales, it calculates that its vehicles will produce about 250 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents from fuel production and combustion over a 150,000-mile lifetime on a well-to-wheels basis.

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