Ford Facing Early Pushback From Commercial Fleet Buyers When It Comes to Electric Vehicles

Ford F-150 Lightning and E-Transit van 7 photos
Photo: Ford
Ford F-150 LightningFord F-150 LightningFord F-150 LightningFord E-TransitFord E-TransitFord E-Transit
Even though Ford believes that fully electric trucks and vans will be a dime a dozen by 2030, there has been some early pushback from commercial buyers, which are a key demographic for the carmaker’s F-150 Lightning pickup truck and the E-Transit van.
According to Ford Pro chief exec, Ted Cannis, potential fleet buyers are currently taking a “wait and see” type of attitude. One reason for that is a lack of experience with electric vehicles, followed by a lack of clarity regarding government policy and regulations regarding this technology.

Still, Cannis told Reuters that “in the U.S., we see 70% of the full-size bus and van industry going electric by 2030. That’s more than 300,000 vehicles annually. And we expect a third of the full-size pickup (market) to go all-electric by 2030, which is more than 800,000 vehicles annually.”

By using battery-electric power, fleet customers can save money on fuel, maintenance and repairs, which is mostly true for any EV buyer out there.

“But there is still a fear of the unknown,” said the Ford exec, while referring to both employees and managers.

The carmaker remains positive though, especially since potential buyers that have actually gotten the chance to drive the Lightning have come out and called it “the most exciting F-150 ever,” - resulting in a total of 150,000 reservations from both fleet and retail customers.

“We have so much demand, I’m not sure how we can supply,” added the Ford exec, who also believes that both of these EVs are perfect for "real people doing real work," whatever that means.

This past August, the Blue Oval had to double its production target for the F-150 Lightning due to strong demand for the truck ahead of its 2022 launch – aiming to produce more than 80,000 units in 2024, sources say, up from a previous target of more than 40,000 units.
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
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Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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