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Despite Losing Billions on Evs, Ford Embraces Hybrids

July 30, 2023
minute read

Ford Motor is currently focusing on the development of several new hybrid models, as stated by CEO Jim Farley following the company's second-quarter earnings report, which showed increased losses in its electric vehicles unit. This emphasis on hybrids contrasts with recent messaging from other Detroit automakers, who have been promoting the performance and popularity of all-electric vehicles as the industry aims to meet EV targets. However, this hybrid strategy aligns more closely with Toyota, a global leader in hybrids, though it has faced criticism for its perceived resistance to the EV transition.

It's important to note that Ford is not abandoning its commitment to electric vehicles. On the contrary, the company intends to continue its EV push, but acknowledges that the ramp-up of EV production might take longer than initially anticipated. Despite investing billions in EV production, Ford is also planning to introduce more hybrid options to the market, driven by the success of its existing gasoline-electric offerings.

During the second-quarter earnings call, Farley expressed surprise at the popularity of hybrid systems for the F-150, with more than 10% of F-150 pickup customers opting for the hybrid model, and that percentage is on the rise. Similarly, Ford's hybrid version of the Maverick pickup has been even more successful, with 56% of Maverick buyers choosing the optional hybrid powertrain over the standard four-cylinder engine.

The decision to expand hybrid offerings alongside the EV push is driven by customer preferences. Many customers appreciate the efficiency of hybrid systems for certain use cases and value the added capabilities enabled by the batteries, such as Ford's "Pro Power Onboard" system that allows customers to use the truck's electricity to power tools or appliances, eliminating the need for a separate generator.

Ford's all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup, with its ability to power an entire house for several days, has garnered attention and interest. However, Ford has recognized that while customers appreciate these capabilities, full EV adoption is progressing more slowly than anticipated. Therefore, offering hybrid options across its internal-combustion lineup provides an intermediate solution for customers who are power-hungry but hesitant about going all-electric.

However, Farley emphasizes that these hybrids will differ from traditional hybrid models like the Ford Escape hybrid or the Toyota Prius, indicating that Ford has unique plans for their hybrid offerings that may appeal to customers in new and unexpected ways.

Bryan Curtis
Eric Ng
John Liu
Editorial Board
Bryan Curtis
Adan Harris
Managing Editor
Cathy Hills
Associate Editor

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