The Tesla Cybertruck doesn’t keep the man in charge of Ford awake at night.
On Tuesday, Ford CEO Jim Farley sat down with CNBC’s Jim Cramer and talked about electric vehicles, Blue Oval’s partnership with Tesla and Cybertruck.
Ford F-Series Range has been America’s best-selling vehicle for 41 years. It includes the F-150 Lightning electric variant, Green Car Reports’ Best Car to Buy in 2023. “We are the market leader in electric trucks and vans, and we know those customers better than anyone,” Farley told Kramer.
Tesla Cybertruck beta spotted by Instagram user ftronz
Referring to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Farley said, “If he wants to design a Cybertruck for the people of Silicon Valley, great.”
Farley elaborated on the subject: “It’s like a cool premium product parked outside a hotel. But I don’t build trucks like that, I build trucks for real people doing real work, and that’s another type of truck.
Farley told Kramer that he viewed going to a charging station as a social experience similar to going to a gas station in the 1920s. “People say, oh, that’s a Ford. I thought everyone had to buy a Tesla. Look at that Mach-E over there.” Kramer linked the concept to Ford being a Trojan horse in this situation.
In May, Ford announced it would adopt Tesla’s NACS charging port on future electric vehicles. Additionally, current Ford electric vehicles will have access to the Supercharger in 2024, adding 12,000 charging stations to the FordPass network. Farley said Kramer Musk was respectful when negotiating this deal, but that was more because of Henry Ford than Jim Farley.
Ford is investing in the future of electric vehicles with a new Blue Oval City in West Tennessee and BlueOvalSK Battery Park in central Kentucky. Both complexes are currently under construction and the combined cost will be at least $11.4 billion.
Ford Blue Oval City – rendering of a manufacturing complex in Tennessee, September 2021
The Blue Oval City factory and battery plant will house a new “radically simplified” electric truck and a three-row SUV. In March, Farley teased the next-generation electric truck, noting that it will arrive in 2025 and touting it as the Millennium Falcon of trucks. The SUV will have a range of 350 miles, but Ford isn’t looking to compete in the range game. Farley noted that the automaker was not going to opt for electric vehicles with a 600-mile range.
Despite the arrival of next-generation electric vehicles in 2025, cost parity is still a way out. At an investor conference earlier in June, Farley said that for most automakers, electric vehicles will remain more expensive to manufacture than internal combustion cars through the end of the decade. The executive predicted that electric vehicles introduced between 2030 and 2035 will “significantly reduce labor content” with simplified manufacturing and parts requirements.