Ford Authority

GM Lobbying Might Curtail Ford EV Ambitions In America

While Ford and General Motors have been heated cross-town rivals for a very long time to this point, both currently have some pretty ambitious all-electric plans as well. Each is investing heavily in EVs and erecting plants as the two automakers work overtime to ensure that each remains competitive in this quickly-changing landscape, though Ford has run into a bit of a snag with its under-construction BlueOval Battery Park Michigan site. After enduring scrutiny over the fact that it plans to license lithium iron-phosphate battery technology from China-based CATL at that plant, FoMoCo recently paused construction amid ongoing contract discussions with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which wants assurances amid the EV transition. However, some lobbying efforts from GM might also present The Blue Oval with a bit of a problem as well, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While Ford is working to present the idea of licensing battery technology from China as a smart way to play catch up in that regard, GM is instead lobbying politicians with a very different message – those same plans could open a gateway for that country to take over U.S. EV manufacturing. The battle boils down to the logistics of the federal $7,500 tax credit, or more specifically, what vehicles qualify for that incentive.

Starting next year, those that purchase EVs containing battery materials sourced from a “foreign entity of concern” won’t be eligible for the tax credit, a vague term that’s intended to reduce America’s reliance on China, which is the world’s largest source of those materials and EV batteries in general. However, that term is still loosely defined, which has Ford convinced that it can produce cheaper LFP batteries in the U.S. and put them in vehicles that qualify for the credit. “It would be absurd to classify Ford or its fully owned subsidiary as a foreign entity, much less one of concern. We’re Ford, and we’re all-in on America,” said Chris Smith, Ford’s chief government affairs officer.

Ford BlueOval Battery Park Michigan Annoucement

On the flip side, GM has thus far lobbied for stricter “foreign entity of concern” rules as it isn’t planning any similar deals with Chinese entities, though a spokesperson insisted that “this is not about GM vs. Ford.” This is precisely why Ford decided to pause construction at its new facility, and also why many automakers are waiting for the final rules surrounding this tax credit before making additional investments in EV supply chains, while GM argues that allowing Ford to use licensed Chinese technology will give it “an unfair competitive advantage” that could force other automakers to follow suit and sign additional deals with Chinese entities.

We’ll have more on this soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. D. Chaos

    Isn’t it calling the kettle black, with GM playing politics and calling it unfair Ford is dealing in China’s materials, because GM over many years had and have dealings with China resources too! Finger pointers shouldn’t point their fingers, especially when they to, are standing on the spot they’re pointing at!

  2. Mf

    Anything that takes business away from China is good for the US.

    What Ford should do is take a page out of the Chinese playbook and shamelessly steal the tech from CATL then cut them out.

    1. Rich

      Stealing technology is one of many things Ford won’t do. Which is why they licensed it. You can’t trust any company that would steal it.

  3. John

    Hasn’t this issue of CATL tech and/or batteries been somewhat addressed with Tesla’s use of CATL batteries in certain version of the Model 3 for a number of years now?

  4. philip tilley

    This is something that the American government should have sorted out year’s ago, but like anything else, to little to late, like Obama did with the gearbox issue, the same thing should have happened with the battery issue, all the American manufacture’s should have got together with the battery issue and keep away from the Chinese .

  5. Prentice Ethington

    The federal government does not have the $7500 it credits for every EV sold without taking that money, or in the case of a tax credit, replacing it with money taken from its citizens through the tax process.

    If EV ‘s are worth having, they should make it on their own.

  6. Wright

    No EV’s, problem solved


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