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Ford CEO Farley Says Company’s Charging Network Needs Major Work

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One of the biggest obstacles automakers face in the quest for widespread EV adoption is charging, or rather, the lack of charging options. There are many thousands of EV chargers currently operating around the world, but a more robust infrastructure is sorely needed, particularly as millions more all-electric vehicles are expected to hit the road in the coming years. Ford CEO Jim Farley is well aware that the automaker’s charging network needs some serious work as well, as he recently admitted in an interview with The Verge.

“We have lots of scars to show [when it comes to charging],” Farley said. When it comes to The Blue Oval’s charging network, the CEO said “it’s not really helpful that it’s the biggest if half the chargers don’t work. Or if you show up, and you need a fast charger, and it’s not a fast charger – that’s not going to work.”

Ford currently utilizes what it calls a “successful charge” as its internal metric for the quality of a charging network, which is defined as how frequently a driver pulls up to an EV charger, completes a charge, and drives away. However, it apparently isn’t performing well in that regard. “I would give ourselves a C-plus,” Farley said. “The number of fast chargers is just going to take time. This will be like brushing our teeth – we’re never going to be done with this.”

Farley has long been an advocate for establishing EV charging standards, as is the case with the automotive industry as a whole. Virtually all third-party charging networks are currently working to expand at a rapid pace, but FoMoCo is also monitoring these chargers to ensure they work properly via its Charge Angels program, which utilizes a fleet of specially-equipped Ford Mustang Mach-E models to to test the performance and connectivity of the 70,000 chargers that comprise the Ford BlueOval Charge Network.

We’ll have more on Ford’s efforts to improve its charging network soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for ongoing Ford news coverage.

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Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. David Dickinson

    Although Mr. Farley didn’t expressly say it, if this EV thing is going to work, these EV companies need to work together to come up with a common charging standard in home and on the road. Initially, I think they all had their own standard in hopes of forcing customers to stay with their brand (who wants to rip out one charger and install another one every time you buy a vehicle?) but the bottom line is they are in a tough, tough situation. I think Benjamin Franklin said that “If we don’t hang together, we will assuredly hang apart.” If these guys don’t work together, untold billions are going to be wasted and their whole market will collapse.

    Reply
    1. Edward

      Every car manufacturer uses a standard plug for their EV except Tesla. Tesla uses a proprietary plug. You buy a Ford or a VW or a Chevy or a Kia or a Polestar or any other brand except Tesla, they all use the same charger. Only Tesla requires a different, proprietary plug.

      Reply
  2. William Kircher

    Michigan has made multiple cca grants in the past two years for ev chargers. All at the slow rate of 50 or 62.5 kW. The UP of Muchigan has all two ccs chargers. Not helpful for road tripping in a ccs bev.

    Reply
  3. Tigger

    I could have told you that years ago.

    Reply
  4. Mike

    Seems like everyone, and all these companies, are waiting for government handouts, to create, manufacture, and supply the infrastructure for, EVs. Since when does government do this, with tax payer money, when there was basically no support for ICE vehicle manufacturers, or infrastructure ( gas stations ) for decades. What, are turning into a China now?

    Reply
    1. Mike

      Why go for just one fast charger? Dealerships should be islands of welcome. Great PR and a chance to sell their product.

      Reply
  5. thomas dempsey

    Well Ford could start this revolution by installing at least 1 supercharger at every dealership!

    Reply
    1. Greggt

      Don’t forget Ford is forcing their dealers to commit to be either an ICE or EV dealer only. Why would a dealer who is only allowed to sell gasoline powered vehicles accommodate EV’s?

      Reply
  6. Pedro77

    They’ve been saying this for years. Still nonexistent charging network.

    Reply
  7. Jmar

    It is unfortunate that Mr Farley has even concerned himself with this topic for this long. Out in the real world, where the work gets done, by people, most of which who can’t afford a new F150, there is no thought of an EV vehicle of any type. I bet there is not a charger of any type within 40 miles of most rural America. (I still thankfully live off of rural gravel roads)
    Ford, bow tie, the off brand.. doesn’t matter which..the ICE will be here.. until we are not..
    yes, the green wave of Farley and others is understandable when you consider that they are just politicians playing the game.
    Could 10% of the population in North America even care about EV? I bet no.
    Americans want to go, when they want, where they want. EV’s just don’t check off enough of the “must have” boxes for most drivers.

    Reply
  8. thejper

    I just do not understand? Is every area that is set up across America going to have one or a couple of charging stations for every car manufacturer? How big an area is needed behind a gas station along an American Interstate highway with charging stations for every car and truck maker? Is there not going to be a standard charging station for many American made cars? And, Tesla has it’s own, right? Now, how about foreign made auto’s? Do each of them have to build charging stations for their auto’s/trucks?

    Reply
    1. Tammy

      Almost all manufacturers use the same charging station / plug.

      CCS is the plug used by : Ford, GM, Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Dodge, Porsche, Nissan (except Leaf)… everyone except Tesla and the obsolete Leaf.

      So, right now, there are essentially two types of fast charging stations: Tesla and Everyone else.

      Reply
  9. John Coviello

    So as we watch the EV INSANITY start, we are now seeing the real cost overwhelm ANY ADVANTAGE to this CRAP !!!!!!!! How much is it going to cost ALL of us to have enough working chargers everywhere for ANY OF THEM TO GO ANYWHERE ????? tHEN HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO COST AND WHO WILL PAY FOR MAINTENANCE CREWS TO KEEP ALL THESE CHARGERS WORKING ?????? WHAT A F787878ing WASTE OF OUR TAXES !!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  10. John Coviello

    And how will an EV driver know when, a charging station he was depending on for a charge, has NO working charging points and/or those being used will be hours long waits before he can use ?????????????? Sounds like horse and buggy days have come back in force by the F%&*&^*&^*ing government !!!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Tammy

      Teslas already tell you all that info inside the car as it maps your route. It’s not some impossible goal, but it helps that Tesla actually has their own charging network. The “Blue Oval Network” is actually not Ford’s at all. It’s just a list of chargers built and maintained by other companies. It would be like calling all gas stations the “John Coviello Network”.

      Reply
  11. Reid Hester Ph.D.

    Ford needs to negotiate with Tesla for getting access to its supercharger network. Musk has indicated his willingness to open it and Ford needs to be stepping up and making it happen.

    Reply
    1. Edward

      Tesla would have to change their connector to be in compliance with every other manufacturer. The rest of the world uses a standard plug. Tesla uses a proprietary plug.

      Reply
      1. Tammy

        Or there could just be a Tesla-to-CCS adapter tethered to each Tesla charger. Or Tesla could add another plug just like many chargers have both CCS and Chademo. Tesla doesn’t necessarily have to totally ditch their plug… which is far more user friendly than the monstrosities everyone else uses.

        Reply
  12. Kenny D

    At the Price of these “EV’S” each Dealer should have a NUMBER Of FAST CHARGERS, Or LEVEL 3 Charges, or whatever you’d like to call em! If a Customer would like, they could Use these charging stations whenever they want for “FREE” On The Dealerships DIME! Ya, I know, it would create Havoc once everyone found out, But, hey, why Not? They are forcing everybody to QUIT DRIVING an I C E Vehicle and raising Electric Rates and Charging More for their Cars. So…. Help the Customers out. Hell, I see TESLA Charging Stations all over with 5/10 Stations and 5 or 10 of them not being used???? Old JIMMY and the Gang here at FoMoCo, had better get a grip on this Crap and real SOON. We do NOT have the Infrastructure to Run HOME AC units without Brown Out RIGHT NOW???What a M E S S…….

    Reply
    1. David Dickinson

      I think driving the dealerships out of business is the wrong answer. Ford should do the opposite and figure out how to make each dealership an “automotive oasis.” If you have a customer sitting around for 30 minutes charging the EV for free, what else can you upsell them on? Heck, put one of those Ford diners in every dealership in America and give people a reason to sit around for an hour (and have fun doing it). Make the dealership a destination experience.

      Reply
  13. Ron Miller

    The US electric grid is not ready to handle electric cars

    Reply
    1. Tammy

      Fortunately, it’s not going to be an instantaneous switch. Converting the fleet over the next few decades? No big deal.

      Reply
  14. Ken

    This is going to take years change over so lets not get so excited about enough charging stations. Just look at the average amount you travel each work week. I travel 30 miles to work and back each day. On a 5 day work that’s 150 miles a week. Most EV’s get more then 250 miles per charge. I won’t need a charging station because I would have one at home. In the Fall I travel 200 miles there and back 8 times a year to watch my favorite Football team. Almost all my traveling is within 250 miles. I definitely excited about purchasing one day! No more hazardous waste like engine oil and antifreeze and worry about someone stealing my catalytic converter.

    Reply

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