Ford promises more affordable EVs as it loses money on them

In its quarterly earnings call this week, Ford reported significant losses on EVsā€”but still promised lower-priced models.

As reported by CNN, Ford said its EV unit lost $1.3 billion in the first quarter, or $132,000 for each of the roughly 10,000 EVs sold by the automaker during that period. Sales were down 20% from a year earlier, but revenue was down 84%, something Ford attributed to industry-wide EV price cuts.

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Ford CEO Jim Farley predicted an EV price war in 2022, although it doesn’t seem like the automaker was able to prepare for it. On the earnings call, Ford CFO John Lawler said the automaker has removed $5,000 in cost from the Mustang Mach-E crossover, but the revenue drop is happening faster than cost removals like this can happen.

Instead of waiting for the traditional mid-cycle refresh, Ford has incrementally re-engineered the Mach-E to lower manufacturing costs, and it’s cut Mach-E prices. But the automaker still has to recoup hundreds of millions of dollars invested in development of next-generation EVs, and that’s not likely to happen for years, CNN noted.

2024 Ford F-150 Lightning

These next-generation EVs will reportedly prioritize both profitability and lower prices, while a more expensive, next-generation electric pickup truck to follow the F-150 Lightning and a three-row SUV have been delayed.

Farley has also said cost parity with internal-combustion vehicles might not happen until 2030, although plans for an LFP battery plant in Michigan that Ford sees as key for EV affordability might accelerate that. But what might really solve the problem of EV profitability is the arrival of higher-volume models than the current Mach-E and Lightning.