This article appeared in the October 04, 2022 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Ford accelerates toward an electric vehicle future

Paul Sancya/AP
Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen tours the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center before speaking about the Biden Administration's economic agenda in Dearborn, Michigan, Sept. 8, 2022.

The future of the automobile is electric.

If there was any doubt about that statement, the Ford Motor Company is forcing the issue. Ford CEO Jim Farley recently issued an ultimatum to his U.S. dealerships: You’re in or you’re out.

Ford dealers have until Oct. 31 to commit to selling the company’s line of electric vehicles (EVs) or they won’t get any Ford EVs to sell. 

And there’s more. A Ford dealer’s commitment to sell EVs includes a certification process that, among other things, requires installation of fast charging stations (at an estimated cost of $100,000-$200,000).

Ford only has three EV models now: the F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E, and e-Transit commercial van. But the company plans to spend $50 billion to expand its line and has a goal to sell 2 million EVs a year by 2026 (or about half their total sales last year). 

Ford will also require dealers to post prices and sell its EVs online. “We’ve been studying Tesla closely,” Ford’s CEO told reporters last month. Tesla boldly launched without a dealer network, selling vehicles exclusively online. So far this year, Tesla reports selling more than 908,000 electric vehicles. But Tesla’s sales approach in Norway (where 86% of all new cars sold in August were plug-ins) is evolving. In Norway, Tesla has “dealer-like facilities and we think that’s the direction they’ll go as they scale their operations in the United States,” said Mr. Farley.

In other words, Tesla is becoming more like Ford – and vice versa. The EV revolution is accelerating.

This article appeared in the October 04, 2022 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 10/04 edition
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