Ford Delays EV Pickup And Three-Row Electric SUV To Focus On Hybrids

1 month, 3 weeks ago - 07. April 2024, Inside EVs
Ford Explorer PHEV
Ford Explorer PHEV
Ford said the delay would allow the company to take advantage of advancements in battery technology.

Ford has delayed the plans to build its next-generation EVs. Production of the electric pickup codenamed "Project T3" has been postponed from 2025 to 2026. The three-row electric SUV, which Ford CEO Jim Farley once described as a "personalized bullet train," is now slated to arrive by 2027, instead of 2025.

The Dearborn automaker said additional time was required to let the EV market mature. In the meantime, Ford said it would benefit from the ongoing advancements in battery technology. 

Doug Field, Ford's chief officer of EV and digital systems indicated last year that the family SUV would arrive by 2025 with 350 miles of range. It would be an Explorer-sized EV made in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. The electric pickup truck, meanwhile, will be made at the BlueOval City plant in West Tennessee. 

The family SUV is not to be mixed with the Explorer that's currently on sale in Europe—that one is based on Volkswagen's modular electric drive toolkit, commonly known as the MEB platform. Ford's family SUV for North America will be based on a bespoke BEV native platform. 

Production of the gas-powered Edge SUVs will end next month at the Ontario plant and it will undergo retooling to make the family SUV. However, the delay would extend the layoffs of some 2,700 workers.

"We value our Canadian workforce and appreciate that this delay will have an impact on the team. The company will work with Unifor [the labor union] to mitigate the impact the launch delay will have on its workforce at Oakville," Ford said in the announcement.

Ford said it would continue focusing on its existing line-up of gas, hybrid, PHEV and BEV line-up in the meantime, contingent on demand. There's also a range of affordable EVs on the way under what Ford calls a "skunkworks" project. 

"We are committed to scaling a profitable EV business, using capital wisely and bringing to market the right gas, hybrid and fully electric vehicles at the right time,” Farley said. “Our breakthrough, next-generation EVs will be new from the ground up and fully software enabled, with ever-improving digital experiences and a multitude of potential services,” he added.

Currently, there are several three-row electric SUVs on sale in the U.S. Some options include the Tesla Model Y and X, the newly launched Kia EV9, the Rivian R1S and the Mercedes EQB and EQS SUVs.

Many more are in the pipeline, including the production version of Toyota's "bZ large SUV" concept that will be manufactured in Kentucky, the Volvo EX90, Hyundai Ioniq 7 and Lucid Gravity among others.

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