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Ford turns to hybrids as electric car unit loses billions of dollars

After losing billions of dollars in electric vehicles, Ford Motor Company is embracing hybrid vehicles. The company’s chief executive, Jim Farley, said in Thursday’s second-quarter earnings report that more hybrid models will be launched in the future.

Ford recently reported second-quarter earnings, showing a widening loss in its electric vehicle division. Ford hasn’t given up on its electric vehicle plans, though the company said on Thursday that the rollout could take longer than previously expected.

“We were surprised by the popularity of the hybrid system in the F-150 pickup,” Farley said on Ford’s second-quarter earnings call. More than 10 percent of F-150 pickup customers opted for the hybrid model, he said, and This proportion is still increasing. Ford also offers a hybrid version of the small Maverick pickup. The car was more successful, Farley said, with more than half of Maverick buyers (56 percent) opting for the $1,500 optional hybrid powertrain over the standard four-cylinder engine .

So why is Ford doubling down on hybrids at a time when the industry is making a big move toward pure electric vehicles? “What customers really like is when we take a hybrid system that’s more efficient for certain duty cycles and add new features because of the battery,” Farley said. One of those new features is Ford’s “Pro Power Onboard” system , which lets customers use the vehicle’s electricity through the pickup’s outlet to power tools or a refrigerator on the jobsite, eliminating the need to carry an extra generator.

“We’re seeing a lot of customers like this combination of using the battery for something other than moving the vehicle, so we’re just listening to the market,” Farley said.

Ford has touted the capabilities of its all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup, which can power an entire house for days. Possibly after listening to customers, Ford found that the popularity of this feature outweighed the desire for an all-electric vehicle. As executives noted Thursday, electric vehicle adoption has been slower than expected. So, in the meantime, Ford could offer a middle-of-the-road option for drivers who crave electric power but have concerns about EVs by offering hybrid models in its internal-combustion engine lineup.

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James Lopez
James Lopezhttps://www.techgoing.com
James Lopez joined Techgoing as Senior News Editor in 2022. He's been a tech blogger since before the word was invented, and will never log off.

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