Ford CEO Jim Farley said today that consumers are not committing to electric vehicles because they have anxiety, and it is not range anxiety.
“They don’t have range anxiety, they have charging anxiety,” Farley said on Fox Business. “We’re going into the mass consumers who have a lot of charging anxiety.”
The comments came in response to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm’s recent four-day, 600-mile journey from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Memphis, Tennessee, with a fleet of legacy automaker electric vehicles.
Granholm’s trip was far from smooth, as the Secretary had several bumps in the road related to charging. At one point, ICE vehicles that were in communication with the Secretary’s fleet of cars were tasked with parking at EV chargers in an inadvertent instance of ICEing — a term used for when combustion engine vehicles park at and block EV chargers.
This caused a family who needed a charge to keep their car cool as a baby was occupying it to lose their cool, both figuratively and literally, and they called the police.
You can read our full report on that below:
For Ford and Farley, solving “charging anxiety” is the next step for breaking through the current number of sales it has and entering a new market. Farley admits that EVs, at least from Ford’s perspective, are currently for a niche of customers.
He talked about EVs and the premium price they have, which has discouraged many consumers from considering buying one. Although prices have dropped from a year ago, as Farley mentioned in the interview with Fox’s Bret Baier, there is still a new batch of consumers that need the wide array of concerns to be obliterated before they switch.
“Some customers who have the right duty cycle are really interested, but the price premium that we see a year ago is not there today,” Farley said.
One way Ford has chosen to combat this “charging anxiety” is by partnering with Tesla and vowing to use the automaker’s North American Charging Standard, or NACS, connector, which will give Ford EV drivers access to 12,000 Tesla Superchargers in the United States.
It seems Ford won’t be ready to completely phase out ICE vehicles as Farley also said consumers will have a choice of what they want and need in a vehicle.
“We’re going to offer customers a choice. We’re going to have a growth story for all three of our businesses, including our pro-business, and we’ll have the customer choose,” he said. “The F-150 Lightning is the best-selling electric pickup in the U.S. and for those customers, it works great, but it’s not for everyone.”
Ford recently tripled its production capacity for the F-150 Lightning, which has been the best-selling EV pickup in the U.S.
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