Ford's EV Troubles

Ford Motor Co.

Ford’s EV plans are meant to charge the company and drive its sales as the world moves away from gas-powered vehicles. A new report shows that the inventory of Ford EVs has grown rapidly, a possible sign of a lack of demand.

According to InsidesEVs, the rising inventory of EVs “appear to be a growing pain for Ford dealers.” The publication checked with several dealers. Some said they do not want more inventory of Mustang Mach-es. And some dealers now offer up to $2,500 incentives on new Ford F-150 Lightnings, Ford’s EV flagship.

The problem could be a glitch in reporting. It could also be a sign of trouble. Over the next several months, it should become clear whether either of these is true or if there is another factor.

Ford’s EV sales have been slow in the year’s first half. Part of that is because plants have not hit their maximum output level. Ford says sales will explode as factories start to have greater capacity.

There are other reasons for the inventory problem. One may, indeed, be a lack of demand. The EV field is crowded. Hyundai had strong EV sales in the first half, and so did GM. Tesla’s sales continue to lead the industry. And its new Cybertruck will be available soon. It will compete directly with the Lightning.

Another issue may be overall demand. It is an open question of how many Americans want to own EVs. One survey shows the figure is relatively small, particularly against industry expectations. Among the reasons given is battery charging time. Another is the availability of chargers. Ford has signed on to use the Tesla charging network.

Ford has invested billions of dollars and will continue to because management believes it is the only way Ford can be a major global auto company. It still needs to be determined whether that bet is right.

This is every major automaker’s plan to go electric.

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