Ford was supposed to be able to build 600,000 electric vehicles (EVs) this year. Then, it wasn’t. The date was pushed back to the end of 2024. Now, Ford may be unable to sell all those EVs, even if it hits that production number. Too few people want an F-150 Lightning, Ford’s electric flagship. (These 15 cars hold their value the longest.)
According to Bloomberg, Ford has raised production of the hybrid F-150, a watered-down version that helps save gasoline and the environment. Jim Farley, Ford CEO, says he is surprised by the demand for the hybrid version. He failed to mention that it is a sunsetting of his plan for Ford’s future and aspirations.
The hybrid F-150 is cheaper than the Lightning. Apparently, pickup drivers did not warm to its high price. The hybrid engine is ancient compared to EV engines. Cleverly, Ford did not say the lack of demand for the Lightning may be permanent.
Several research studies show many Americans do not want to own EVs. They take too long to charge, and there are too few charging stations. Meanwhile, there are hundreds of thousands of gas stations in the United States, and it takes about 10 minutes to fill the tank of most pickups.
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Ford needed the Lightning to be a success. The F-150 is the gas-powered flagship of Ford and the best-selling vehicle in the United States for four decades. If Ford cannot sell an electric version, the company will be in deep trouble regarding the balance of its EV model line. And rival Tesla is bringing a competitor, the Cybertruck, to market this year.
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According to its management, Ford has bet its future and billions of dollars on EVs. Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chair, who controls the company via his family’s shares, said the Lightning is the most important vehicle launch of his tenure. Sorry, but it isn’t working out as planned.
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