Compared to GM, this might be the better strategy.
General Motors shocked the world when it announced last January its plan to eliminate internal combustion engine vehicle production by 2035. That's the ultimate goal though company officials have made clear it'll let the market have the final say. But what about cross-town rival Ford? It has already declared that it'll become an electric vehicle-only automaker in Europe by 2030, if not sooner, but hasn't said the same regarding North America. What gives?
Speaking to Automotive News, Ford's president of the Americas, Kumar Galhotra, confirmed the Blue Oval is "certainly working toward" an all-EV future but an exact timeframe for doing so hasn't been decided.
One key reason why is because it wants to gauge customer reception to the just-revealed Ford F-150 Lightning. More than 44,000 pre-orders have been placed, but not all will convert to sales. "We should all watch very carefully how this does in the market," Ford CEO Jim Farley added. "This will be a big test for a majority of customers because it's such a big segment and the price is so approachable. I think it will kind of show where EV adoption really is."
The Mustang Mach-E and upcoming E-Transit van will further provide EV acceptance indicators. In 2023, at least two new all-electric crossovers about the size of the Edge will debut and analysts predict a BEV version of the Lincoln Corsair is due in 2026. Farley previously hinted the Bronco SUV will receive the full-on EV treatment too.
Ford recently announced it's teaming up with battery manufacturer SK Innovation to start a joint venture to build batteries in the US as part of a wider $22 billion green tech investment. As for Europe, Ford made the BEV-only decision based on current facts on the ground.
"The two markets are in a very different place," Galhotra said. "As that market was maturing and moving in Europe, it was clear at what point we'd be all-electric. I suspect the same thing is happening here; we're just not at that point." One thing is for certain: every automaker, including Ford, will drop ICE vehicles within 20 years. Long-term, Ford wants to "lead the electric revolution" in the US.