Bill Ford Compares Electric Vehicle Adoption To The Covid Vaccine

Bill Ford Compares Electric Vehicle Adoption To The Covid Vaccine

Ford executive chair – and guy who wants the unions to just quit it – Bill Ford has compared the adoption and polarization of electric vehicles to the Covid vaccine. It’s quite the take, I know. Basically, Bill says the adoption of EVs is a red-state-blue-state issue, just like the rollout of the vaccine during an interview with the New York Times:

E.V. sales are still up 50 percent this year, so sales are growing very fast. But we’ve also seen a politicization of E.V.s. Blue states say E.V.s are great and we need to adopt them as soon as possible for climate reasons. Some of the red states say this is just like the vaccine, and it’s being shoved down our throat by the government, and we don’t want it. I never thought I would see the day when our products were so heavily politicized, but they are.

The other is prices. Electric vehicles are expensive. We know prices will come down, and as that happens, we will have a bigger ramp-up of E.V.s. Keep this in mind: The most valuable company that our industry has ever seen is Tesla, and it’s growing. That’s a very instructive point when people say E.V.s are not desired.

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There may be something to this polarization thing, to be honest. President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump famously have very different views when it comes to the adoption of EVs and the cars themselves. Biden wants half of all new vehicle sales to be electric by the end of the 2020s, and he has signed a number of laws that offer incentives to consumers, charging operators and manufacturers alike, according to Bloomberg.

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On the other hand, Trump has taken a very different approach to EVs. A few weeks ago he skipped the second Republican presidential debate to speak to mostly non-union autoworkers in Michigan about the perils of electric vehicles. Trump told the crowd at Drake Enterprises in Clinton, Michigan, that the shift to EVs would doom the automotive industry and kill jobs. This took place fairly soon after Biden visited striking UAW workers on the picket line.

EVs have actually become part of the culture wars at a state level as well. California and a number of other states have mandated zero-emission vehicles make up an ever-increasing portion of manufacturers’ sales. Meanwhile, lawmakers in red states, like Wyoming, reportedly introduced legislation earlier this year that would have banned EV sales in the state by 2035. Unsurprisingly, that was too spicy for legislators in Wyoming, and the bill didn’t advance.

It’s a tough time for EVs right now in general – especially for American-made electric trucks. Last week Ford said it was temporarily cutting a shift at its Dearborn plant that assembled F-150 Lightning pickups because of quality checks and supply chain issues, according to Bloomberg. On October 17 we reported that General Motors is delaying the opening of its second electric truck factory in Michigan “to better manage capital investment while aligning with evolving EV demand,” the company said. You can read that as GM admitting to overestimating demand for its supertrucks.