Ford Motor Company had big plans to spend $12 billion to beef up its electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing capabilities. But the company now says customers just aren’t willing to spend the premium for EVs, and is holding back that big EV push.
High financial premium for EVs slows sales
Ford says customers are buying EVs, just not as fast as the company had expected. The blue oval company says it isn’t giving up on EV production—just not pumping the money in as fast as earlier plans indicated. In a media briefing last week, Ford’s Chief Financial Officer, John Lawler, told the press: “We are … looking at the pace of capacity that we’re putting in place. We are going to push out some of that investment.”
With the high financial premium for EVs holding back expansion, where will the cutback be seen? Ford’s planned second battery manufacturing facility in Kentucky is now on hold, for one thing. Still, the new Tennessee-based EV building plant will go on.
Ford EV expansion up to customers
So when will Ford cut loose with the money? That’s up to customers. “The customer is going to decide what the volumes are,” Lawler said. “Ford is able to balance production of gas, hybrid and electric vehicles to match the speed of EV adoption in a way that others can’t.”
Will RVers fill some of the gap of unwilling buyers? That remains to be seen. As we’ve written about Ford’s EV pickups, the “entry level” Ford Lightning is the Pro fleet model. At an incredibly low cost, $39,974, the EPA estimated range is at the low end, 230 miles. This is exactly what Ford originally promised. However, the tow capacity of the Pro fleet unit is a pretty paltry 5,000 pounds. Bump up the price with the optional Max Trailer Tow package, your towing capacity jumps to 7,700 pounds. Trouble is, unless you’re a fleet buyer, a new Pro fleet model isn’t available to you. Hang around for a while—maybe you’ll find a used one retiring from a commercial buyer.