Ford Retrenches EV Plan

Ford is delaying some of its EV product launches in favor of delivering hybrid versions of all its Ford-branded vehicles by 2030 as interest grows in hybrid vehicles as a prologue to a complete shift to electric vehicles.

David Kiley, Senior Editor

April 4, 2024

2 Min Read
Ford dials back production of its EV pickup, delays launches of EV SUVs.

With the pace of EV sales slowing a bit, Ford backs away from its ambitious schedule of EV production and product launches, instead pledging to offer a hybrid version of all its Ford-branded vehicles by 2030.

The announcement comes right after a positive first-quarter sales report by the Dearborn, MI, automaker. Ford’s electric-vehicle sales increased by 86% and hybrid sales rose 42% versus a year ago.

“As the No.2 EV brand in the U.S. for the past two years, we are committed to scaling a profitable EV business, using capital wisely and bringing to market the right gas, hybrid and fully electric vehicles at the right time,” says Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “Our breakthrough, next-generation EVs will be new from the ground up and fully software-enabled, with ever-improving digital experiences and a multitude of potential services.”

The strategy pivot is resulting in a later expected launch year for all-electric 3-row SUVs that are planned for the company’s Oakville, ON, Canada plant – 2027, compared with a previous target of 2025. Ford still plans to introduce a new all-electric truck from its new EV production complex in Tennessee, Blue Oval City, in 2026.

Work also continues at Ford’s Avon Lake, OH, plant to produce electric commercial vehicles for its Ford Pro unit. That new vehicle line is expected to hit the market by “mid-decade,” giving Ford some flexibility on ramping up production to meet demand and not get too far ahead of demand for commercial EVs.

Farley previously has said the company also shifted its EV strategy in late 2023 to quickly develop a lower-cost EV platform to deliver EVs at lower prices than it had planned earlier. Research shows a substantial percentage of consumers is waiting on the EV sidelines for lower-priced options. Farley also has cited the expansion of a low-cost/low-price Seagull EV produced by China’s BYD as a motivator for the lower-cost EV architecture to stay globally competitive.

The CEO notes that the skunkworks team formed in California to fast-track that platform is continuing at the same accelerated pace. Executive Director of Advanced EV Development Alan Clarke leads the growing team, which includes personnel from Auto Motive Power (AMP) following Ford’s acquisition of the EV energy-management startup in late 2023. Clarke was previously Director of New Programs Engineering at Tesla Motors.

While Ford’s market cap is dwarfed by that of Tesla, Ford shares have outperformed Tesla since the first of the year as Ford’s mix of EVs and ICE vehicles is proving to be an advantage while the rate of EV adoption slows. The federal government, too, has relaxed its EV fleet mandates, giving automakers more time to build out their EV fleet and the public charging network to mature and become more dependable. A large part of consumer hesitation is range anxiety and unknowns about the reliability of public charging.

About the Author(s)

David Kiley

Senior Editor, WardsAuto

David Kiley is an award winning journalist. Prior to joining WardsAuto, Kiley held senior editorial posts at USA Today, Businessweek, AOL Autos/Autoblog and Adweek, as well as being a contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Popular Mechanics and more.

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