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Ford hopes cheaper electric cars can convince EV skeptics — just like Tesla

Tom Carter   

Ford hopes cheaper electric cars can convince EV skeptics — just like Tesla
  • CEO Jim Farley talked up Ford's plans to build a new range of affordable EVs in an earnings call.
  • It comes after Tesla also promised to accelerate its plans to build cheaper electric vehicles.

Ford has thrown down a gauntlet to Tesla by touting its upcoming range of cheap electric cars, as both companies grapple with slowing demand for EVs.

CEO Jim Farley confirmed in Ford's Q1 earnings call that the company is working on new affordable EVs that could be priced as low as $25,000 to $30,000, after Elon Musk vowed to accelerate Tesla's affordable EV plans earlier this week.

"Increasingly, our bet will be on our new small affordable platform developed by our team on the West Coast," said Farley.

Farley told investors he believes Ford can build an EV priced between $25,000 to $30,000 that is profitable, describing it as a "huge opportunity" for the company.

He said that the automaker was targeting its affordable EV push at urban and suburban customers, who tend to drive shorter distances and prioritize affordability.

"The more affordable we can make a great product, the more attractive it is to these mainstream EV adopters," Farley added.

Farley's comments suggest Ford is doubling down on producing cheaper EVs, the lack of which is proving to be a major barrier to more people going electric in the US.

The Ford boss has previously hinted that the auto giant is working on next-generation electric vehicles at a lower price point, telling investors in February that Ford had built a "skunkworks team" to "create a low-cost EV platform."

Bloomberg previously reported that the new platform would include a small pickup, a compact SUV, and a potential ride-hailing vehicle, with the first EV set to cost around $25,000 and launch in late 2026.

A profitable $25,000 EV could transform Ford's current electric lineup, with the Detroit automaker losing around $132,000 on every EV it sold in the first three months of 2024 amid a vicious price war between electric vehicle manufacturers.

Many of those manufacturers are pursuing their own affordable EV ambitions as demand for more expensive models has stalled.

Tesla announced on Tuesday that it would accelerate plans to launch "new and more affordable products," after reports that CEO Elon Musk had decided to prioritize a self-driving robotaxi over a long-rumored $25,000 electric car caused concern among investors.

Ford did not immediately respond to a request for comment made outside normal working hours.

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