Attention, hybrid enthusiasts: Ford Motor is currently developing a multitude of fresh hybrid models. According to CEO Jim Farley, the company is planning to introduce a significant number of hybrid systems in the future. This announcement follows the release of their second-quarter earnings, which showed increasing losses in their electric vehicles division.
The remarks slightly contrast with recent statements from Detroit automakers, who have been emphasizing the performance and popularity of all-electric vehicles to meet EV targets. However, Ford’s focus on hybrids aligns more closely with Toyota, a global leader in hybrids, though Toyota has faced criticism for being perceived as resistant to the EV transition.
To clarify, Ford is not abandoning its well-publicized push for EVs. However, during an announcement on Thursday, the company admitted that its EV ramp-up might take longer than initially expected. Despite investing billions in scaling up EV production, Ford intends to introduce more hybrid choices to the market, driven by the success of its current gasoline-electric models.
“We have been pleasantly surprised by the level of popularity the hybrid systems have garnered for the F-150,” stated Farley during Ford’s second-quarter earnings call. He revealed that over 10% of F-150 pickup customers are now selecting the hybrid model, and this percentage continues to rise.
Ford has also introduced a hybrid version of its smaller Maverick pickup, which has seen even greater success. According to Farley, an impressive 56% of Maverick buyers opt for the optional $1,500 hybrid powertrain instead of the standard four-cylinder engine.
Despite the industry’s significant push toward pure electric vehicles, Ford is determined to emphasize hybrid technology. Farley explained the rationale behind this decision, stating that customers truly appreciate the combination of a more efficient hybrid system for specific duty cycles, complemented by the added capabilities facilitated by the batteries.
Ford’s Innovative ‘Pro Power Onboard’ System
One of the exciting new features is Ford’s innovative “Pro Power Onboard” system, empowering customers to access the truck’s electricity through outlets in the pickup bed. This convenient feature allows them to power various tools at a job site or even run a refrigerator during a tailgate party, completely eliminating the need to carry a separate generator.
Farley noted that many customers have shown great enthusiasm for this feature, appreciating the versatility of utilizing the vehicle’s batteries for purposes beyond mere transportation. Ford is keenly attuned to the market’s feedback and preferences.
In addition to this, Ford has been actively showcasing the remarkable capabilities of its battery-electric F-150 Lightning pickup. Notably, this impressive vehicle can power an entire house for several days, highlighting its potential as a reliable backup power source during emergencies.
After receiving customer feedback, Ford seems to have recognized that the demand for the mentioned capability is surpassing the willingness of customers to fully embrace all-electric vehicles. The adoption of electric vehicles is proceeding at a slower pace than initially anticipated, as highlighted by executives on Thursday.
As a result, Ford can cater to power-hungry drivers who may have reservations about fully transitioning to electric vehicles by offering an intermediate solution. This involves providing hybrid options throughout its internal-combustion vehicle lineup.
However, Farley emphasized that these hybrids won’t be conventional ones like an Escape hybrid or a [Toyota] Prius. Instead, Ford has some unique plans for their implementation, which will set them apart from what people typically expect from hybrids.
The response from customers to this approach has been positive, indicating that this in-between option is finding favor among the target audience.
Ford is developing fresh hybrid models due to the surprising popularity of hybrid systems, while maintaining their commitment to EVs. Their innovative “Pro Power Onboard” system enables truck electricity use for tools and appliances. This approach appeals to customers seeking versatility and efficiency, ensuring Ford’s position in the evolving market.