The plant’s 2,500 future workers are now pawns in ongoing UAW talks, despite Ford not explicitly saying so:
“We are pausing work and limiting spending on construction on the Marshall project until we’re confident about our ability to competitively operate the plant.”
The UAW wants battery workers paid the same high wages as other autoworkers, but Ford says that it already can’t compete with Tesla or foreign-owned EV makers in the US due to high labor costs.
Notable Verge traitor Joanna Stern has been in the market for an EV for the past few months. (I know because she keeps texting me about it.) Like any true reviewer, she solved her problem by taking the the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, and the Tesla Model Y head-to-head on a road trip — and called up Marques Brownlee for a little advice along the way.
In a social video, Jim Farley levels with EV customers saying he had a “reality check” during a road trip when he stopped at a “low speed” charging station, gaining only 40 percent charge in 40 minutes in his F-150 Lightning. He later charges at a “nice” 350kW charger (though the truck can’t do more than 155kW).
Farley eludes that adopting Tesla’s NACS connector is the solution, but the adapter needed to enable current Ford EVs to use Tesla’s Superchargers won’t come until next year.
The European-only electric SUV is now coming Summer 2024, a few months later than planned. Ford representative Stefan Tinnemann said the delay is to comply with new UN EV requirements. Ford’s Explorer EV will use Volkswagen’s MEB platform, and will be made at the re-tooled Cologne plant, where it’ll build other future EVs.
Meanwhile a completely different US version will arrive later alongside an Expedition-sized EV.
Ford advanced driver assist technologies exec Sammy Omari said the new BlueCruise 1.3 software focuses on extending the time drivers operate in hands-free mode without disengaging compared to the 1.2 update.
During our internal testing across a variety of roads in the U.S., BlueCruise 1.3 stayed engaged in hands-free mode for an average of 3X longer compared to BlueCruise 1.2. We saw an even larger performance improvement from BlueCruise 1.0 to BlueCruise 1.3 with an average of 5X longer engagement in hands-free mode.
Omari also told TechCrunch that F-150 Lightning owners should have it by the end of the year.
The last Twitter Space Elon Musk attempted to host didn’t go so well, but he’s trying again anyway. Instead of a politician announcing a run for president, however, he’s logging on to talk with Ford CEO Jim Farley about “Accelerating EV adoption.”
With competition for electric cars heating up — are we about to see a new partnership for Tesla? The event is scheduled to start at 5:30PM ET.
Ford CEO Jim Farley doesn’t expect his company to make a lot of money off the in-car software experience, which is why he’s happy to cede control of the touchscreen to Apple and Google. GM disagrees. So does Tesla. But as Farley notes in this interview with WSJ’s Joanna Stern, why would Ford say “good luck” to its customers by cutting off that access, especially when 70 percent of them are also Apple customers?
The automaker expects to lose $3 billion this year on its EV sales, but the outlook is certainly improving. Ford says its EV business grew 41 percent this quarter on sales of 10,866 units. That includes 4,291 F-150 Lightning trucks and a 62.7 percent increase in E-Transit delivery vans. Sales of Mustang Mach-E was down reflecting downtime at the factory for changes designed to improve production. Ford said it’s still on track to hit a run rate of 150,000 EVs this year — hopefully without any more recalls.