Ford’s chief takes dig at Musk while unveiling his solar energy investments

Ford chief Jim Farley made a jibe at Tesla titan Elon Musk on Wednesday as he made an announcement of his recent investments in solar energy.

Speaking at a press conference in Michigan, Mr Farley bragged about his company’s new electric pickup truck — the F-150 Lightning — while seemingly referencing Tesla’s Cybertruck, which has been repeatedly delayed after initial announcements in 2019.

The Cybertruck was originally scheduled to go into production in 2021, but after delays, Mr Musk recently said the electric vehicle would kick off production in 2023.

Meanwhile, Ford’s F-150 Lightning is currently the bestselling electric truck in the market.

Its competitors include two other trucks, the Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer EV.

“Take that Elon Musk,” Mr Farley said, calling the new F-150 Lightning a “shining light” for Ford, and dubbed the company “the leader of all EV pickup trucks”.

“We’re really on a mission at Ford to lead an electric and digital revolution for many, not few,” he said.

“To drive the next century of progress, we feel this moment is a way to re-found the company because we feel like there’s so much upside today that we haven’t really had since we scaled the Model T,” the Ford chief added.

The playful remark on the Tesla chief was made as Ford was announcing its partnership with DTE Energy, advertising the deal as “the largest renewable energy purchase from a utility in US history”.

Although Mr Farley said last month in an earnings call that he believes his company is the only one challenging Tesla, Ford still lags behind Tesla that has a hold over 75 per cent of the electric car market.

Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y are currently the two top-selling EVs in the US with Ford’s followed Mustang Mach-E making a distant third entry on the list.

Ford’s partnership with DTE Energy is seen as a “strategic investment” in Michigan to help the company “get more clean energy on the grid sooner”.

“We don’t have to depend on oil price spikes in economic cycles to keep full employment,” Mr Farley said.

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