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Ford Stock Gains, Leading Carmakers Higher, as Biden Unveils EV Sales Targets

U.S. carmakers will pledge to boost EV sales to between 40% and 50% of their totals by 2030 during an event later today at the White House. Tesla, however, was not invited, says Elon Musk.

Ford Motor Co.  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report shares moved higher Thursday ahead of a White House event later today that will set targets for clean-energy car production supported by America's 'Big Three' automakers. 

President Joe Biden will sign an Executive Order at 3 PM Eastern time Thursday asking domestic carmakers to have between 40% and 50% of their fleet sales be electric vehicles by the year 2030. The targets form the central plank of Biden's ambitions of investing around $175 billion in clean-energy car infrastructure, including charging stations and tax incentives, in order to spark a change in perception for the American car buyer, who has yet to find electric vehicles nearly as exciting as the media.

"Today, Ford, GM and Stellantis announce their shared aspiration to achieve sales of 40-50% of annual U.S. volumes of electric vehicles (battery electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles) by 2030 in order to move the nation closer to a zero-emissions future consistent with Paris climate goals,” the Big Three said in a joint statement. “We look forward to working with the Biden Administration, Congress and state and local governments to enact policies that will enable these ambitious objectives.”

Ford shares were marked 3% higher in pre-market trading Thursday to indicate an opening bell price of $13.72 each. General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company (GM) Report shares, meanwhile, gained 1.5% to trade at $53.52, clawing back some of yesterday's 8.9% slump triggered by disappointing second quarter earnings.

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Tesla shares, meanwhile, were marked 0.9% higher at $717.03 each even as founder and CEO Elon Musk lamented the fact that his company was not invited to attend the White House event.

Earlier this spring, Ford pledged to invest at least $30 billion in EVs by 2025, while General Motors is ready to trump that investment by $5 billion. Both U.S. carmakers are aiming to expand battery production and EV model rollouts over the next five years as they chase Tesla's leadership at home and in China, the world's biggest car market.

The pair have a lot of chasing to do: although electric cars comprise a tiny total of the 14.5 million vehicles sold in the U.S. last year, most were made by Elon Musk's company. Tesla sold just over 200,000 electric cars in the U.S. in 2020, nearly ten times more than GM's best (at least to date) EV option, the Chevy Bolt

U.S. EV makers also facing increasing pressure from global giants such as Volkswagen  (VWAGY) , which wants to sell one million electric and hybrid cars this year, while spending €35 billion ($42.4 billion) by 2025 to expand battery production and fleet offerings in a bid to dominate the European market.