Ford Authority

Ford Pro CEO Says Fleet Buyers Not Being Pushed Toward EVs

While Ford is in the midst of spending $50 billion on electrification with a goal of producing 600k EVs annually this year and two million by 2026, the automaker also knows that battery technology isn’t quite yet sufficient for certain types of vehicles – namely, those with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of over 8,500 pounds. Thus, even though the E-Transit has thus far proven to be a hit among commercial customers, Ford Pro CEO Ted Cannis knows that now is not the time to push fleet buyers toward electrification, as he recently discussed while speaking at the 2023 Evercore Utility Conference.

“So, they’re going to have internal combustion and battery electric vehicles for a year and some of the vehicles are going to take longer,” the Ford Pro CEO said. “Super Duty heavy truck, bucket trucks, is a lot of energy with bad aerodynamics moving up and down highways when you guys have an emergency and have to go cross state or cross country, and it’s not always there yet. And we can say that because we have both internal combustion and battery electric. I don’t want to sell you an electric vehicle that won’t let your job get done. If you’re working on lines, or if you’re in forestry, or you’re an ambulance, we can’t afford that the customer can’t do their job. Roofers got to roof.”

“And so for us, it’s very easy. We have a great internal combustion solution for you. You can get an F-150 hybrid, just as much as you can get a Lightning. And that is a huge part of it, is eliminating these myths that the EVs are all perfect. They’re not all perfect. They don’t do
everything yet. They do a lot of great things. I have a Lightning and my wife has a Mach-E. We are 100% electric, but it doesn’t do everything. It does a lot of things better and other things like towing long distances in the cold is not ideal. So that’s the perspective where we start from.”

This stance is nothing new, of course, as Ford CEO Jim Farley previously stated that he knows that EVs aren’t for everyone at the moment – specifically mentioning the Ford Super Duty customer – and that’s precisely why the automaker will continue making ICE and hybrid vehicles for the foreseeable future. In fact, as Ford Authority reported last May, the Super Duty isn’t expected to go electric anytime soon, and in fact, will likely be available with hydrogen power before that happens.

We’ll have more on Ford’s EV plans soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

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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  1. David Dickinson II

    It’s nice to see executives make practical, common sense statements based on real-life needs.

  2. Bob Dobson

    Cannis is an interesting dude. He pitched the Ford Fleet Advisory Board and the Ford Police Advisory Board last year basically saying the opposite. His words then were, “The BEV train has left the station and you better get on it or you will be left behind”

    So several Fleet Managers from the big fleets said right to his face ‘ Then you better get ready for some of us to buy your competitors vehicles”

    Cannis didn’t want to talk about showstopper issues like Range, charge times for vehicles that run 24X7, infrastructure costs, battery production carbon footprint, shortages of minerals to make batteries, battery disposal.

    Nothing wrong with BEV but its not for everyone yet, maybe 10 years from now.

    1. RWFA

      I find it hard to believe much of this comment as it really starts shedding credibility when BoBS overreaches with “…battery production carbon footprint, shortages of minerals to make batteries, battery disposal.” Those are non issues to fleet managers and most corporate strategists when TCO is what warms the Kachels of fleet managers’ and CEOs’ hearts.

      I do agree that BEV isn’t appropriate for some use cases but the 10 year window is just a rhetorical FUDster’s device to delay consideration now (that’s what is the prime motivator for the scripted Big Oil K-street FUD team), wait for 10 years, then wait for another ten.

      Big Oil has been running their playbook of Denial, Doubt, Delay for the last 40 years now, and comments like BOBS’ and the rest of his cohorts are just an example of greed trying to take advantage of ignorance and stupidity in play.

  3. Shane

    Battery replacements are currently $23,000-$28,000 for a brand new battery. A customer posted an estimate from a Chevy dealer of $29k to replace an 8 year old Chevy Volt battery. Even at half price it makes zero financial sense. Not a surprise Rivian lost $3 Billion in 3 months, bye bye.

    1. RWFA

      Here’s Big Oil’s K-street BShane back for a drive by now throwing his FUD on battery costs.

      They want everybody to think that batteries need to be replaced at 8 years when they don’t.

      1. David Dickinson II

        A Ford executive speaking the truth has really set you off. All batteries don’t have to be replaced at 8 years…but some do. You are throwing shade at the comments about fleet managers. That is definitely a cost they will care about. From one side of your mouth you talk about total cost of ownership and then, when someone mentions a big part of the TCO, you out of hand dismiss it. Your EV fantasy world is coming unglued (and so are you).

        1. RWFA

          LoL. Fleet owners don’t keep vehicles for 8 years. LoL.

          (What a moron.)

          PS (I felt a twinge of guilt for calling DD a moron, but then he brought receipts.)

          DD as I recall was supposed to have been a dealer sales manager somewhere.

          Yet for “fleet” he quotes the avg age of all vehicles (overall fleet) in the USA (12.2y) when the commercial subset we are talking about has an avg age of only 4.4y.

          I’m not sure how any fleet manager could lose sleep over thought of an unexpected battery failure making him look bad to the c-suite if he’s covered by warranty and selling his units before it is close to expiration.

          But I suppose dystopic vision distorts reality.

          Ps re Sketchy K-street Travis below…

          The article talks about Ford’s commercial BEV offerings (Ford Pro) and like many articles before sketchy K-street Travis talks about how his fleet refused to go BEV and convinced many others to do likewise.

          Now sketchy K-street Travis shifts the goalposts to OTR (also known as long-haul trucking), a segment Ford hadn’t played in since 1997! (Another moron.)

          (I never mentioned that out of high school, as i put myself thru college, I was an engineering development technician/ student engineer for a major diesel manufacturer.)

          Sketchy K-street Travis then doubles down on deception and quotes the typical Class-8 rebuild schedule.

          But we’re not talking about Class-8 or the like, we are talking about the light duty commercial segment in which Ford plays.

          Obvious bad faith comments from sketchy K-street Travis are now clearly bad faith comments.

          1. David Dickinson II

            The average age of a fleet vehicle eclipsed 12 years last year, moron. However, vehicle age wasn’t my point. The point is that battery replacement, which is a huge expense, is likely “top of the mind” for any fleet manager because they don’t want any big ticket surprises. It isn’t difficult to see that a battery replacement could easily wipe out any EV savings in one fell swoop.

  4. RWFA

    IOW BEV will only kill your wife or daughter.

    Ps you forgot to include something like she will have to stay in the burning car until she is pulled out only to be molested.

    The lunacy of some of the commentariat is truly something to behold.

  5. Ken

    No one is willing to spend $1k on a battery, much less $20k. Forget that. I never wish harm on businesses, but it is a good thing these EVs are failing. We just need to keep reminding politicians not to use our tax dollars to float their financial failures. Thank God they are failing.

    1. RWFA

      Bad faith K-street Ken with a softer kind of scripted Big Oil FUD:

      “I never wish harm on businesses, but it’s a good thing their products are failing so Grover Norquist can save on viagra. It’s a good thing these businesses are failing.”

      Ken’s stupid words for stupid people has him tying himself in a knot for his benefactors.

    2. RWFA

      Bad faith K-street Ken bringing a newer softer kind of scripted Big Oil FUD:

      “I never wish harm on business, but am glad their products are failing as a kind of object lesson Grover Norquist could get pumped up over, so for GN’s sake, at minimum, thank God they are failing!”


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