‘Charging can be a challenge’ says Ford CEO as EVs gather dust

Farley’s reality check comes as Dearborn automaker is set to lose $4.5B on electric vehicles in 2023

Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley did a little product testing Sunday. He took an electric F-150 on a long drive, and in so doing got a reality check about the difficulties of charging electric vehicles.

“Charging has been pretty challenging,” Farley said in a video posted to his Twitter account. He plugged into the Tesla charging network and found that it took 40 minutes to charge the vehicle to just 40%. Farley called the ordeal “a good reality check of the challenges our customers go through.”

There are three levels of chargers: Level 1, low-level; Level 2, which customers can install in their own homes; and Level 3, top speed. Farley described the charger he used as low speed.

Farley’s product test did not reveal anything new. People who can afford electric vehicles face two problems: first, the time it takes to charge; and second, range anxiety, wherein the driver suffers uncertainty about how long the vehicle can travel without needing a charge.

The tank of a gas engine takes a few minutes to go from empty to full. Jim Farley’s rate of 40% in 40 minutes indicates a limited utility for electric vehicles in hauling, towing, or long-range nonlocal driving.

The practical problems of electric vehicles are probable contributors to Ford’s difficulty selling them. While Ford’s gas engines are expected to rake in $8 billion in profit this year, its EVs are set to lose $4.5 billion.

Farley insists that Ford’s future electric vehicles “will blow people away.” In Sunday’s video, he admits the need for faster charging and reassures customers that Ford is working on it. Ford’s big idea is to plug into the Tesla supercharger network. It will rely on a competitor to charge the vehicles its customers buy.

“This is why we’re working w/ @Tesla to provide @Ford drivers access to +12,000 superchargers & our EV certified dealers are installing fast chargers at their dealerships. Will help us improve the EV experience for our customers,” Farley tweeted Sunday.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.