Earlier this month, Ford CEO Jim Farley embarked on a 1,100-mile road trip to see the electric vehicle transition in action. He started his journey in Silicon Valley, made a stop in Los Angeles, and ended his trip in Las Vegas. Through the course of his journey, Farley was able to meet with numerous electric vehicle owners, including Tesla drivers and EV advocates.
These included Ryan Levenson, a longtime EV owner and founder and operator of The Kilowatts, a clean energy advocacy brand and EV rental fleet. Levenson was able to speak with Farley during the Ford CEO’s stop at Laguna Seca. During their conversation, Farley noted that he is glad Ford was able to secure a deal with Tesla to use the EV maker’s Supercharger Network.
“I’m sure glad we did that Tesla deal… All the Ford people retrofitted, get an adapter and an app on their phone that’ll allow them to connect to a Supercharger Network,” Farley said.
Farley also spoke at length about how Ford came to its decision to adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS). Ford’s support for the NACS practically opened the floodgates to the charging standard’s mainstream adoption. After Ford, after all, fellow carmakers such as GM announced their support for the NACS as well.
The CEO noted that Ford’s decision to adopt the NACS was a long time coming, and it also involved the automaker admitting that Tesla’s charging standard was superior. Farley also stated that eventually, adopting the NACS was a no-brainer.
“When Doug Fields came to the company a year and a half ago, we started having this debate about the plug itself, whether this committee design plug is competitive with the Tesla plug. We all started having plug failures and we’ll run them over and they’re broken and all sorts of stuff happen. And it became really clear to all of us as leaders that’s (NACS) a better solution. It was engineered better. I hate to say it, but it was.
“So then, we started talking to Tesla because we thought it’d be good for them and the industry and that kind of stopped a couple years, maybe a year and a half ago. And then, it got started up when IRA got passed because I think Tesla would get money from the federal government to expand the Supercharger Network if it was a standard. And at the same time, we became number two in EV sales in the US, so we started talking really seriously for a while… It was a no-brainer for us,” Farley said.
Watch The Kilowatts‘ interview with Ford CEO Jim Farley in the video below.
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