Ford has fully committed to an electric future over the past several months, investing billions in EV and battery development in an effort to double its planned global production by 2024. For now, those plans are focused on what the automaker considers its “Icons,” commercial vehicles, and models with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of under 8,500 pounds. It’s still early in the process, but those efforts have paid off already as the Ford Mustang Mach-E program was quick to turn a profit, while FoMoCo CEO Jim Farley has received praise from both Wall Street and major business publications for his efforts. However, it doesn’t appear that Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares shares Farley’s attitude toward EVs.
“What has been decided is to impose on the automotive industry electrification that brings 50 percent additional costs against a conventional vehicle,” Tavares told Reuters in a recent interview. “There is no way we can transfer 50 percent of additional costs to the final consumer because most parts of the middle class will not be able to pay.”
Tavares also said that efforts to speed up the development process of EVs “is just going to be counter productive. It will lead to quality problems. It will lead to all sorts of problems,” he said. “Over the next five years we have to digest 10 percent productivity a year … in an industry which is used to delivering 2 to 3 percent productivity. The future will tell us who is going to be able to digest this, and who will fail. We are putting the industry on the limits.”
Interestingly, these comments come mere months after Stellantis announced a major EV initiative for both Europe and North America, some time after Ford and General Motors announced similar plans to commit to electrification. The other Detroit Big 3 automaker said that it would be investing $35.5 billion to develop four new flexible electric vehicle platforms, three scalable electric drive modules, standardized battery packs for every vehicle segment, and five gigafactories with the goal of achieving a 70 percent low emissions vehicle product mix in Europe and 40 percent in the United States by 2030.
Regardless, it seems that the automaker has its concerns about electrification, even though a number of other automakers – including Ford – are thus far making a pretty seamless transition.
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That’s what happens when you eschew R&D on new models and instead just take profits, pay fat dividends, and milk 20+ year old platforms ripped from 90’s Mercedes cars and old Jeeps. Eventually that party is over.
Surprising since he’s a European but he better get sh*t figured out or else they’ll be heading in the direction of Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Plymouth along with Honda and Toyota. Also kinda concerning considering how bad FCA electrical systems have been when fiat unfortunately first bought them but it’s business 101, adapt or die.
Tavaras is a man that understands that you can’t just shove anything down the consumers throat and expect them to buy. I still feel there are many issues with EVs that must be resolved including cost, range, drivability, charging times and charging stations that need to be resolved before EVs go mainstream.
I agree 100%. Ford is also touting how far ahead of GM that it is on EVs. Might come back to bite them in the arse, very hard.
I agree Tigger, Tavaras is being honest and understands the market. EVs are out of middle Americas price range. After the EV honey moon is over the companies gambling billions in EV development will be begging Uncle Sam for bail out money.
Load up the lots with cars nobody wants….
I agree with him they are trying to force EVs into the market instead of letting the market and technology decide. Common sense really. We shall see.
I think the EV movement is great. However, I can’t help but wonder where all the electric supply is going to come from. Charging times that are not comparable to today’s refueling times don’t appear to be conducive to US driving models except city driving. Some like an hour charging time for each 37 miles?
Totally agree with most of these comments. Heck, we have rolling blackouts with our electric grids now. What happens when everyone has an EV and they roll home after work and plug in ??? That will put a drain on things. The weak link always breaks first.
They need to fix the fire issues during the recharging phase also. I have seen videos of cars catching fire while they are plugged into a charger. Sure don’t want that issue in my garage. I think I will wait a good long while to switch over.
I think we’re too used to thinking of our automotive world as it currently is. For example: worrying about blackouts when there is a large number of EVs drinking electrons in everyone’s garage is, I believe, misplaced: remember that it’s those very EVs that will not only function as your car, but also as a backup battery for your home. If the power does go out your EV can supply power- in most cases, for weeks, if need be. But this does nothing to relieve strain on the electrical grid. But things like rooftop solar are coming down in cost- I would know, I just got one this past August. I financed it, it cost me no money down, it effectively cuts my “electricity” bill in half since I’m no longer paying the electric company but AM paying to finance the panels, and the panels are covered for 25 years- also at no cost. I did this because I also own an EV (an early model Volt), and have owned it for 6 years now. Although the Volt doesn’t have a large all-electric range, I drive almost entirely on electric power and thus have, effectively, no more gasoline bills. So in summation, I cut my electric bill in half, the money I’m paying for “electricity ” is actually buying something (solar panels) rather than just disappearing into some utility company’s pockets, I pay for no gas, and it only cost me the price of an EV (I bought it used for $21k with literally only 4k miles on it, and even if you didn’t want an EV you’d still be paying for a gas car, so this cost would remain regardless).
The times are changing, and they need to: I say we watch and make smart decisions and save money where we can. I wouldn’t have these options if not for EV technology. I’ve been a long time auto enthusiast for my whole life, but I called back in 2013: The age of gasoline is over. EVs outperform in every metric EXCEPT fueling times and price- barely. (range is so close nowadays, I’m leaving that one out. The Lucid Air is all electric and goes 520 miles, a car like the Chevy Traverse goes 440 miles) The problem holding up faster charging times is that the charging cable gets too hot- how long do you think it will take to solve that problem….? My money is firmly on the notion that EVs will soon outperform gas guzzlers in every arena. The technology is advancing so fast its actually hard to stay current on it- no pun intended XD
That’s all fine if people wanted them.
Says person who has never driven one
Sounds like the Stelantis guy is smarter than Farley, sadly.