Ford’s highly profitable range of trucks, known as the F-Series, claimed the title of America’s best-selling vehicle last year, surpassing even longstanding contenders like Toyota’s Camry. Ford’s goal to maintain its dominance is reflected in its introduction of the F-150 Lightning, an electric light truck unveiled last year.
However, before solidifying its position, the automotive company must address certain obstacles, especially in terms of battery charging. Ford CEO Jim Farley personally encountered these challenges during a trip from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas in an F-150 Lightning in early August. Farley discussed the trip on LinkedIn.
At one point, Farley used a popular charging station in Coalinga, California. Despite connecting the truck to the charger, it only charged the vehicle up to 40 percent after 40 minutes. With the priciest F-150s able to travel slightly over 300 miles per charge, this means that the 40-minute pit stop only added about 120 miles of range.
Farley said that he expected to face charging challenges before departing. He noted that his firsthand experience allowed him to better understand the issues faced by customers.
The Ford CEO’s road trip confirms that Ford was wise to embrace Tesla’s charging technology.
Last May, Ford announced that it would be adding Tesla’s NACS charge port to its future EVs, giving Ford customers access to Tesla’s Supercharger network. Tesla’s Superchargers boast much faster charging times than Ford’s existing chargers. Most Superchargers can add 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes.
In a social media post on X (formerly Twitter), Farley conceded that Tesla’s charging technology is superior. Farley reminded customers of his pledge to make Ford EVs compatible with the Supercharger network.
No surprise charging can be a challenge, but still learning a lot seeing firsthand the issues our customers face. This is why we’re working w/ @Tesla to provide @Ford drivers access to +12,000 superchargers & our EV certified dealers are installing fast chargers at their… pic.twitter.com/fES15o9orT
— Jim Farley (@jimfarley98) August 13, 2023
Ensuring a satisfactory charging experience is vital for Ford. Ford requires fast charge times to maintain its leading position in the EV truck market, as well as to outpace competitors like Tesla and Toyota.
Providing fast charge times will also play a significant role in driving the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. EV market share in the US has plateaued at around 7 to 10 percent.
Image Source: Jim Farley, https://shorturl.at/bEV19