New vehicle sales are down significantly this year, including at Ford where total sales were off about 8% last month. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Ford’s sales of electric vehicles doubled to 6,255 units in November. That’s up 103% compared to last November. Overall, EVs accounted for 4.5% of all Ford sales, which makes the Blue Oval brand the second best selling EV brand in the US behind Tesla.
“Ford share of the electric vehicle segment expanded about 2 percentage points over a year ago — standing at 8.6 percent share for the month. Ford’s electric vehicles are conquesting from competitor vehicles at a rate of over 60 percent this year,” the company says. Its lineup of electric vehicles includes one passenger car (the Mustang Mach-E), a truck (the F-150 Lightning), and light-commercial van (the E-Transit van).
Deutsche Post Orders 2,000 E-Transit Vans
The E-Transit flies under most people’s radar, but Ford is seeing a nice uptick in sales each month. It signed an agreement this week to provide 2,000 E-Transit vans to Deutsche Post by the end of 2023. The agreement covers a full suite of solutions to operate the electric fleet, including access to Ford Pro’s connected E-Telematics software and charging solutions in order to reduce costs and optimize efficiency.
Deutsche Post will invest €7 billion this decade to meet its goal of becoming a net-zero-emissions logistics company. To get there, it is targeting a share of 60 percent e-vehicles used for carbon-neutral pickup and delivery by 2030. It currently has about 27,000 vehicles in its global fleet.
“Ford Pro and Deutsche Post DHL Group share the vision of greater sustainability and a commitment to electrified solutions, and this agreement is a major step towards millions of deliveries being completed by electrified vehicles around the world. E-Transit is the top-selling commercial EV in North America and since June is also the best-seller in its segment in Europe, meaning the all-electric 2-tonne van is already making big strides to support this ambition,” said Hans Schep, general manager for Ford Pro of Europe.
A large part of the order includes E-Transit panel vans designed for handling express shipments in the Americas and in Europe. Some of the vans will be specially equipped with a customized box for inner city distribution in Germany by Ford Pro Special Vehicles.
Ramping Up Production Of The Ford F-150 Lightning
Ford says it has 200,000 reservations for its electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning. “That surprised us. I think it surprised a lot in the industry, how ready people already were for electric vehicles,” says Darren Palmer, head of Ford’s electric vehicle program. As we reported recently, Ford was also surprised by the demand for the Mustang Mach-E. It is rushing to expand the factory in Mexico where the Mach-E is assembled and it is doing the same at the factory in Michigan where it manufacturers the F-150 Lightning.
“They’re actually building a factory almost the same size alongside the one that’s producing at the moment,” Palmer says. “We had to cut the walls open again and start again.” Coping with the surge in demand has been a “huge piece of work. It will take most of this year and some of next year just to convert the reservations,” he added. Ford has not accepted any new reservations for the truck since December of last year. When the renovations are complete, the factory will be able to manufacture 150,000 electric pickup trucks a year.
Linda Zhang, the Lightning’s chief engineer, tells Business Insider she initially had to convince her colleagues to buy the truck, but now it’s winning over customers who never owned an EV, as well as younger drivers who hadn’t previously bought a Ford.
Palmer thinks the F-150 Lightning will go down in history as the vehicle that brought EVs into the mainstream in the US. He says there’s more to come, with a renewed focus on in-car technology in the next phase of Ford’s EV program. “The things we’re going to bring in the next three years are just mind blowing. They’re doing things that vehicles never did before,” he adds.
CleanTechnica readers may scratch their heads and wonder why Ford (and GM and Stellantis) were so skeptical about the demand for electric vehicles. A big part of that may have involved just not wanting to disturb the goose that laid the golden egg. The F-150 has been a huge success for Ford and one of the most profitable vehicles ever sold. It’s understandable why it wouldn’t want to mess with such success.
But Ford has committed to investing $50 billion to its electric vehicle efforts. That is no small thing. Seeing the rise in sales — which is modest but steady — has got to be a great relief to Ford executives.
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