Ford to delay EVs, focus on hybrids

DEARBORN–Ford Motor Co. announced a delay in the launch of electric vehicles to be built at its Oakville, Ontario plant, and plans to offer hybrid options across its North American lineup by 2030.

Included is delaying production of a three-row electric SUV at the Ontario plant from 2025 to 2027. The next-generation EV pickup truck was delayed from 2025 to 2026.

By the end of the decade, the company expects to offer hybrid powertrains across its entire Ford Blue lineup in North America. In the first quarter of 2024, Ford’s electric vehicle sales increased by 86% and hybrid sales rose 42% versus a year ago.

“As the No. 2 EV brand in the U.S. for the past two years, 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,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “Our breakthrough, next-generation EVs will be new from the ground up and fully software enabled, with ever-improving digital experiences and a multitude of potential services.”

The transformation of Oakville Assembly Plant – a comprehensive overhaul of the plant from a gas vehicle assembly plant into an EV manufacturing complex – is set to begin in the second quarter, as planned.

Ford said the additional time will allow for the consumer market for three-row EVs to further develop and enable Ford to take advantage of emerging battery technology, with the goal to provide customers increased durability and better value.

The creation of the BlueOval City campus – Ford’s new advanced auto production complex that includes the Tennessee Electric Vehicle Center assembly plant – is progressing on track. In addition to paint shop and vehicle assembly equipment, installation is also underway for nearly 4,000 tons of stamping equipment that will produce the sheet metal stampings for Ford’s next all-new electric truck.

The Tennessee Electric Vehicle Center will be Ford’s first Industry 4.0 plant, combining automation and connectivity to help elevate quality and efficiency.

Additionally, Ford continues its expansion of Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake to produce an all-new electric commercial vehicle for Ford Pro customers beginning mid-decade.

Half of the structural steel is erected on the site, interior slabs are being poured, concrete walls are going up and masonry is beginning on interior walls. Ford expects to begin tool installation at Ohio Assembly Plant in spring 2025.

Design work continues on Ford’s future-generation EVs. A skunkworks team in California is developing a smaller, low-cost, profitable, flexible EV platform capable of underpinning multiple vehicles at high volumes. Alan Clarke leads the growing team, which includes personnel from Auto Motive Power (AMP) following Ford’s acquisition of the EV energy management startup in late 2023.

In the meantime, construction is progressing at BlueOval Battery Park Michigan, in Marshall, Mich., and at the BlueOval SK joint venture battery plants in Tennessee and Kentucky.

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