Ford’s EV Transition: Three Gas Models To Be Retired

FORD'S TRANSITION TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Ford is bidding farewell to three of its gas-powered models as it paves the way for a new era of electric vehicles under the Blue Oval brand. This strategic shift aligns with Ford’s forward-looking approach towards its next-generation EV platform, which is poised to usher in a wave of innovative Ford EVs. 

While Ford has encountered some challenges in its EV journey, the automaker is now ramping up efforts to expedite the development of its second-generation electric models. In a significant move, Ford’s CEO, Jim Farley, confirmed back in February that the company was actively working on an in-house EV platform tailored for its upcoming electric vehicle lineup. This new electric architecture is primed to support a full-size electric pickup truck and a three-row SUV, marking a pivotal moment in Ford’s electrification strategy. 

Ford F-150 Lightning EV
Ford F-150 Lightning EV

Enter “Project T3,” affectionately known as “Trust The Truck,” which pays homage to the dedicated team responsible for crafting an electric truck designed for the digital age. This formidable truck boasts an impressive array of capabilities, including towing, hauling, power exportation, and cutting-edge innovations. In Farley’s own words, it’s envisioned as “like the Millennium Falcon – with a back porch attached.” This groundbreaking vehicle will take shape at Ford’s sprawling BlueOval City complex in Tennessee, covering nearly six square miles. 

In parallel with these developments, Ford is undergoing a transformation of its Oakville assembly plant in Ontario, which will be converted into a manufacturing hub for EVs and battery packs. This ambitious undertaking represents Ford’s first major facility overhaul in North America geared towards high-volume production. The company intends to streamline production by shipping battery cells and arrays from the BlueOval City hub to this upgraded facility. 

However, to accommodate the forthcoming generation of Ford EVs, the automaker is bidding adieu to three beloved gas-powered models. The time has come for the venerable Ford Escape, Edge, and Transit Connect to gracefully exit the stage, making room for the next wave of cutting-edge electric vehicles from the Blue Oval brand. 

This move follows the recent conclusion of Ford Fiesta production, which spanned an impressive 47 years and eight generations. The decision to cease Fiesta production was driven by the need to reconfigure the Cologne, Germany, plant to accommodate the assembly of the new electric Explorer. 

Ford's electric Explorer concept
Ford's electric Explorer concept

In March, Ford unveiled the fully electric Explorer SUV, boasting an enticing starting price below $50,000. It’s worth noting that this model made its debut exclusively in the European market. During Ford’s Capital Market Day, Farley divulged details about an upcoming three-row electric SUV, potentially a US-specific version of the electric Explorer, promising a remarkable range of up to 350 miles and a spacious interior. Ford anticipates that these new electric SUVs and the EV pickup will significantly bolster its market share in crucial regions. 

Ford Mustang Mach-e
Ford Mustang Mach-e

Ford already offers a trio of electric models in the US, including the F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E, and E-Transit electric van. Nevertheless, the company has encountered some hurdles this year. Farley announced during the Q2 earnings report that “The near-term pace of EV adoption will be a little slower than expected,” leading to a postponement of the company’s goal of achieving a 600,000-unit run rate until the following year. Additionally, the launch of the electric Explorer in Europe has been rescheduled to the upcoming summer. 

Despite these challenges, Farley expressed optimism, asserting that the slowdown “is going to benefit early movers like Ford.” The company firmly believes that its second-generation products will not only enhance profitability but also streamline production processes, positioning Ford as a leader in the evolving landscape of electric vehicles. 

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