Barron's

This article was originally published on this site

Ford is rapidly shifting its focus to EV vehicles.

Courtesy Ford

Ford Motor surprised investors yet again on Wednesday, this time by announcing a major increase in its spending on vehicle electrification.

The announcement, which came ahead of its event for investors and analysts, sent the stock soaring Wednesday.

Ford (ticker: F) is now planning to spend $30 billion on vehicle electrification by 2025, roughly double the $15 billion EV spend that investors previously expected between 2021 and 2025. The company had also previously projected $29 billion in spending between 2020 and 2025 on both EV and autonomous vehicles. That makes comparisons difficult, but spending $30 billion on EV alone in the coming 3.5 years is a bombshell announcement. And it is exciting investors who welcome the company’s rapidly changing image and growing focus on EVs.

Ford stock surged about 6.9% in recent trading in response to the news. S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures, for comparison, are both up less than 0.2%.

Management will provide more clarity at its investor day event, which kicked off Wednesday morning. But no matter what numbers you compare, the EV spending bump is a major increase.

Ford has been beefing up its EV game for months. This past week Ford unveiled its all-electric F-150 as well as a joint venture to build EV batteries. The JV should eventually have enough capacity to equip millions of EVs annually. Investors cheered, sending shares up more than 12% this past week.

In addition to spending plans, Ford says it expects 40% of vehicle sales to be all-electric by 2030. And Ford Pro, a dedicated commercial vehicle service and distribution business, is being formed. The new strategic plan is called Ford+.

“I’m excited about what Ford+ means for our customers,” said CEO Jim Farley in the company’s news release. “This is our biggest opportunity for growth and value creation since Henry Ford started to scale the Model T, and we’re grabbing it with both hands.”

Ford+ will try to transform the company into an electric auto maker, with connected vehicles generating recurring service revenue. It’s quite a vision. Investors appear very happy with the strategic shift. Ford stock is up roughly 56% year to date.

Write to editors@barrons.com