Ford puts brakes on its “affordable” EV

Ford Motor says it has delayed the planned launches of three-row EVs in Canada and its next-generation electric pickup truck built in Tennessee in the US as the slowdown in EV demand globally forces automakers to revise production plans.

Riaan Fords1

Ford says separately that it was boosting hybrid electric vehicle offerings and by 2030 expects to offer hybrid powertrains across its line-up of fuel-powered vehicles.

"We are committed to scaling a profitable EV business, using capital wisely and bringing to market the right gas, hybrid and fully electric vehicles at the right time," according to Ford CEO Jim Farley.

Ford, which lost nearly R87.5 billion ($4.7 billion) on its EV business in 2023 and projected it will lose R93 billion to R102.4 billion ($5 billion to $5.5 billion) this year, said in February the next generation of EVs would be launched "only when they can be profitable".

Ford shares were up 1.4% in midday trading on 4 April.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker, says it will push back the launch of the large new EV SUV it will build at its assembly complex in Oakville, Ontario to 2027 from 2025 to "allow for the consumer market for three-row EVs to further develop and enable Ford to take advantage of emerging battery technology."

Separately, Ford says it will delay deliveries of an all-new EV truck it will build at a new plant in western Tennessee until 2026. Last year, Ford planned to begin production in late 2025 and build up to 500 000 electric trucks annually at the plant.

Ford says it plans to begin customer deliveries of the new truck in 2026 and gradually ramp up production to help assure quality.

Ford Chief Financial Officer, John Lawler, told investors last year the automaker would delay some of its planned multibillion-dollar investment in new EV and battery production capacity.

The US Environmental Protection Agency last month relaxed EV requirements starting in 2027 from its initial proposal and further incentivised plug-in hybrid vehicles.

During contract bargaining in 2020 with Canada's Unifor Union, Ford promised to invest R33.5 billion ($1.8 billion) and retool the Ontario plant to make EVs. Ford on Thursday said the overhaul of the Oakville assembly plant was set to begin by June 30 as planned.

Unifor President, Lana Payne, said it was "extremely disappointed by the company’s decision" impacting 3 200 workers and noted that Ford Edge SUV production at Oakville was scheduled to end in about a month.

General Motors said in October it would delay production of electric pickup trucks at its plant in Michigan's Orion Township by a year.

More New Energy Vehicles stories

Looking at energy during the month of May

Looking at energy during the month of May

The pollution and energy challenges across the world inspired the South African government to dedicate a month to energy education. This year, Energy Month is May.

  • 16 May 2024
Enviro Automotive extends DFSK EV product range

Enviro Automotive extends DFSK EV product range

Enviro Automotive, an importer and local distributor of DFSK's electric vehicles (EV), announced new additions to its C-Series panel van and bakkie line-up to enhance its current offerings. In July 2022, Enviro Automotive introduced the DFSK brand in South Africa with the launch of the EC35 panel van and EC31 one-tonne bakkie.

  • 15 May 2024