Ford CEO Jim Farley gave a bold prediction regarding EV price parity, stating that he does not believe it will come until after the end of the decade, which holds somewhat brash consequences for the adoption of sustainable powertrains as automakers aim to lower costs.
Since the beginning of the more widespread production of electric vehicles, many people have stated that the biggest bottleneck in widespread adoption is the lack of price parity, or price equality, they have with gas cars.
Gas-powered cars are still much more affordable in terms of the number of options available, but that is not to say that there is not any EV out there that falls below the average transaction price for a new car, which according to Kelley Blue Book, was $55,089 last month. That’s down $10,096 from a year ago. In the overall market, it was $48,275, and there are plenty of EVs out there that are under that price.
However, EVs still need to be to a point where there are numerous options out there for $15,000, $20,000, and even $25,000, and there simply are not suitable options with acceptable range ratings out there for consumers. Ford’s Farley believes the date may be well into the future.
At an Investor Conference that Farley spoke at on Wednesday, he said that EVs will continue to be more expensive than gas counterparts until second and third-generation versions go into production after 2025.
However, the real parity won’t occur until between 2030 and 2035, Farley said, because those cost savings will take place due to “dramatically lower labor content,” and the vehicles will be built with less complexity and with fewer parts.
Automakers won’t be the only ones to suffer, either, in Farley’s estimation. While Ford has 600,000 subscribers in its software business, which has grown from 200,000 at the same time last year, true profitability in the EV side of its business will come from direct-to-consumer sales through online platforms and further growth of the software subscriptions.
Companies will also have to work together if sustainability is truly the ultimate goal. It comes down to more than just a business perspective, and companies have to be willing to set aside competitive advantages to help one another.
“Cooperation is essential,” Farley said. Cooperation is just what Ford is doing as it announced a special partnership with Tesla, which will open its Supercharger Network to the Detroit-based company in an early move that eventually will lead to adopting its Charging Connector in a few years.