Ford Motor is gearing up to launch its electric vehicle in the Middle East in 2024. It was revealed by Bloomberg that the automaker is planning to have significant results as it expands its zero-emission lineup in the region. After becoming the second-largest electric vehicle maker in the US the automaker is selling over 61,000 EVs last year.
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.”
Middle Eastern nations, including Saudi Arabia, which has abundant oil reserves, are expanding their economic horizons by venturing into electric technology investments in anticipation of a future where electric vehicles will dominate. According to Noel, the success of EV adoption in the region hinges on collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors to establish a robust 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 anticipates that electric vehicles will make up more than 10% of all cars in the Gulf region by 2028, or perhaps even earlier, and suggests that the region will continue to grow in this regard in the foreseeable future.
Despite a successful year, Ford’s EV business, Model E, has incurred losses of $6 billion over the last two years, and it is expected to suffer an additional loss of $3 billion in 2023. Ford’s CEO, Jim Farley, recently cited the battery as the bottleneck in production. Noel concurs, stating that the manufacturing capacity to produce batteries quickly enough is lacking. To overcome this challenge, Ford is constructing BlueOval City, its most extensive and efficient automotive complex to date, which includes three battery plants and an EV assembly facility. The project will produce next-generation electric F-series vehicles 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.