Former Ford CEO Shares Cautionary Insights on Electric Vehicle Adoption

( – The former CEO of Ford Motor Company warned that the auto industry is not likely to see a quick adoption of electric vehicles, the Washington Examiner reported.

While appearing on CNBC’s “Last Call” on Thursday, former Ford CEO Mark Fields suggested that the auto industry will need to lower its expectations about the popularity of electric vehicles due to its symbiotic relationship with gas-powered vehicles.

Fields explained that “getting scale economies” is what the auto industry is all about, and “pennies count.” He said the internal combustion engine business is what funds electric vehicles and the auto industry will have to “keep that golden goose” to “keep producing for them.”

Fields suggested that the better way to get the public to transition to electric vehicles would be by manufacturing hybrids. He said while the transition might take longer than some in the auto industry would like, it would be more effective. He said with time, the industry propulsion systems will “shift to full battery electric.”

According to Fields, the ultimate question is how long it will take. He said while there has been tremendous excitement over the early adopted electric vehicles, the tough part will be to get to “mass adoption.”

Last Thursday, Reuters reported that Ford estimated that it lost $36,000 on each electric vehicle it delivered to dealers in the third quarter of 2023, an increase from the $32,350 loss per EV it delivered in the second quarter.

After the company’s second quarterly report, CEO Jim Farley said Ford would slow its ramp-up of electric vehicles and shift its focus to its commercial vehicle unit while seeking to quadruple sales of its hybrids over the next five years.

The company’s EV unit posted a loss in earnings of $1.3 billion before taxes and interest, bringing its year-to-date loss in electric vehicles to $3.1 billion.

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