If you're going to succeed as an electric car producer, batteries are paramount. They make up most of the cost (and the weight) of the vehicle, and they obviously contribute to the EV's driving range and performance. However, Ford isn't going to go broke just so it can tout a 600-mile range EV.
One way to increase the driving range of an EV is to use a larger battery pack. However, as more and more electric cars take to our roadways, EV batteries are becoming more and more scarce, and they're not cheap. The goal should be to get more range out of fewer battery cells. Just like automakers spent years working to increase the efficiency of gas-powered cars, it's time to do the same with electric vehicles.
Ford recently announced an upcoming full-size three-row electric SUV like the Expedition. It will have an estimated 350 miles of range and use a battery pack that's about 100 kWh. According to Green Car Reports, Ford CEO Jim Farley recently pointed a finger at GM saying he's puzzled by what's happening in the auto industry right now as he sees EVs with monumental battery packs. For example, the GMC Hummer EV with its 205 kWh pack.
GM also recently revealed that the upcoming Silverado EV electric pickup truck will have an estimated 450 miles of range. However, the automaker didn't disclose the size of the battery pack. Meanwhile, the 2025 Ram 1500 REV will use a 229 kWh battery pack in an attempt to reach 500 miles of range. The Ford CEO continued:
“I have no idea what's going on in this industry right now. All I hear is all these announcements of 450-mile range, a 500-mile range, there was another one today about a three-row crossover, it's going to go electric. These batteries are huge; if you have those kind of batteries you will not make money.”
Farley went on to say that he just doesn't understand the obsession with battery size. Rather than just worrying about what range they can get with a reasonable battery size and good efficiency, some automakers are shooting for the stars to tout something outright ridiculous. It's safe to say this is really no different than what we've seen for years as automakers have competed to make models bigger, faster, louder, etc. Farley assured:
“We're not going to go to 600-mile range. We're trying to make the smallest possible battery for competitive range.”
If Ford uses a 100 kWh battery pack in a vehicle like the upcoming three-row family hauler and works to get 300 or more miles of range, it should suffice. Not only will it save the company money, but also the consumer. In the end, Ford would be able to provide battery power for two of its three-row SUVs while GM is using the same battery capacity for one vehicle.
Tesla is the most successful EV maker and it has been for years. It has always focused on efficiency and never used mammoth battery packs. Its largest, high-performance vehicles have packs that are around 100 kWh, and EVs like the Model 3 and Model Y employ packs that are notably smaller.