Daily Brief: Maybe Ford’s Seven New EVs Will Give The Carmaker Its Fairytale Ending

Daily Brief: Maybe Ford’s Seven New EVs Will Give The Carmaker Its Fairytale Ending

almost 2 years ago3 mins

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Magic mirror on the wall, Ford’s the most electric of them all: the US carmaker announced plans on Monday to step up its electric vehicle (EV) push in Europe by developing seven new models.

What does this mean?

Ford announced plans to split up its EV and traditional engine businesses earlier this month, part of its plan to speed up its shift toward electrification. And it’s not stopping there: the carmaker now has Europe – the world’s second-biggest EV market after China – in its sights, so it’s pouring another $1 billion into its main European production site in Germany. After all, that should help it churn out the seven new EV models – both cars and vans – it’s pledged to launch in Europe over the next two years. If all goes to plan, the carmaker predicts it’ll sell around 600,000 EVs in the region every year from 2026, a step toward its goal of only selling fully electric models by 2035.

EV sales

Why should I care?

Zooming in: Charged up.

Those EVs will need a lot of batteries, it’s true, but Ford’s prepared. The carmaker announced on Monday that it – along with existing partner and battery maker SK On – will build a battery production plant in Turkey with Koc Holding, the country’s biggest conglomerate. The plant should start churning out batteries from 2025, and looks set to supply a big chunk of Ford’s European EVs with power.

The bigger picture: The American nightmare.

Ford’s US market could use some attention too: supply bottlenecks have stopped the carmaker from reaching production targets in recent months. In fact, it’s so bad that Ford’s told dealers they won’t receive any new cars until the end of May, which will leave showrooms empty during the spring selling season. And since that’ll hit sales, it might be why Ford said over the weekend it expects US sales to fall 12% this year from 2021.

Ford stock
Ford's stock is down this year | Google Finance

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Rio Tinto Wants To Control A Major Copper Mine

Rio Tinto image

Rio Tinto wants to make its mark in the booming copper world, so the world’s second biggest mining company offered to up its stake in Canadian miner Turquoise Hill on Monday.

What does this mean?

Rio Tinto already owns 51% of Turquoise Hill, and it offered to buy the rest of the company for $2.7 billion on Monday – 32% more than it was worth before the announcement. There’s a reason Rio’s willing to pay top dollar: Turquoise Hill owns 66% of Oyu Tolgoi, a major copper mine in Southern Mongolia. That means Rio already owns some of the mine through Turquoise Hill, and it actually agreed with the Mongolian government to start work on Oyu’s delayed expansion earlier this year. The plans would see Oyu produce around 500,000 tons of copper a year, turning it into one of the biggest copper mines in the world. No wonder, then, that Rio wants to snap up a controlling stake in the project.

Why should I care?

Zooming in: Copper’s popular.

Copper sure looks like it's in high demand: the red metal’s used in all sorts of industries, and it’s a key part of the green energy transition too. Just look at electric vehicles (EVs): they use three to five times as much copper as a traditional gas-guzzler does, which might explain why the International Copper Association reckons demand for copper used in EVs will more than triple by 2030.

Copper prices

For markets: Really precious metals.

Copper will cost you, mind you: metals across the board have been getting more expensive over the past few months, and war in Europe has really added fuel to the fire. And with key metals like nickel and copper reaching record highs last week, mining companies are set to reap the rewards. That, then, might help explain why an index tracking some of the world’s biggest mining companies has risen by 18% so far this year, while the US stock market has fallen 12%.

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