“Did You Drive a Gas Car, Grandpa?”
Someday, when you are wizen and old, your bright-eyed grandchild may look up at you and you and query sweetly, “Did you drive a gasoline-powered car, grandpa? Was it smelly and loud?” Yes, the world of GreenCars is coming sooner than you might think.
Ford's Massive Demand for EVs
Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley recently announced that Ford is planning to double the production capacity of its all-electric vehicle lines in just two years. Farley told Automotive News, “The demand is so much higher than we expected. It’s a really new experience for this big company, trying to be agile. We had to approach it very differently than we’ve done capacity planning.”
CEO Farley explained that the motor company has the capability to add another shift to its massive Mexico plant that produces the Mustang Mach-E electric crossover. However, the situation is a bit different for F-150 Lightning pickup truck production at the company’s new Rogue Electric Vehicle Center. “In Lightning’s case we have to find physical space for more final assembly,” he said.
Apparently, the number of F-150 Lightning reservations is approaching 200,000 units. That’s remarkable. It seems that America’s favorite truck for 44 years isn’t skipping a beat when becoming the nation’s new zero emission darling. Farley says he expects north of 80 percent of all reservation holders will convert to actual sales of the new truck.
Team Lightning originally projected that they would sell just 20,000 all-electric pickups per year but that Ford was amazed at the reception of both the Lightning and the Mustang Mach-E. The push for more Ford EVs by consumers both shocked and delighted the CEO who was quick to work toward doubling production.
Largest U.S. Manufacturer of Electric Vehicles
The venerable motor company is moving quickly to launch other EVs including all-electric Aviator and Explorer crossover SUV models. Ford’s goal is to be the largest U.S. manufacturer of electric vehicles, overtaking Tesla and plans to build 600,000 EVs per year. Right now for Ford, meeting public demand is job one.
Meanwhile, General Motors CEO Mary Barra expects to sell one million EVs by 2025 and is also ramping up production by converting existing factories as well as building new ones. Part of her ambitious plan involves building GM’s BrightDrop all-electric delivery vans from Merchants Fleet, which is America’s fastest growing fleet management company. According to a GM press release, Merchants Fleet has placed an additional order for 5,400 EV410 delivery vans that are said to have a range of 250 miles before they need a charge.
As the GreenCars revolution heats up, it will be interesting to see which of America’s traditional auto giants pulls ahead in the EV race for supremacy. Stay tuned.
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