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Ford tells dealers to pause EV investments as it reviews certification program

Breana Noble, The Detroit News on

Published in Automotive News

Ford Motor Co. is recommending dealers halt investments related to selling electric vehicles until after it completes a review of its requirements in June, the automaker said on Tuesday.

The Dearborn automaker had set a June 30 deadline for dealers to have invested in Level 2 EV charging stations to qualify for its Model e certification program to be able to sell EVs. The company had eased requirements in November, but Ford since has continued to announce changes to its all-electric programs, including delaying the launch of a three-row SUV by two years, in light of slower-than-expected growth of EV sales because of affordability concerns, lack of charging access and other barriers.

The decision comes after Ford executives completed a "Dealer Engagement Tour," hearing from more than 1,000 dealers over 11 meetings across the country.

"We’re now in the process of reviewing all that collaborative engagement and turning it into immediate, mid-term and long-term changes where it makes sense for our customers, our Dealers and Ford," spokesperson Marty Günsberg said in a statement. "We will have more specific details to share in a few weeks.

"Ford recommends that dealers pause their action items and qualifiers related to the voluntary program until we complete our review and work with the Dealer Council in June."


Moving in response to market conditions, dealer feedback, supply chains and infrastructure delays, the automaker in November said for dealers to be "certified" in the EV program, they had to have two Level 2 chargers, down from five, by the end of next month. To be "certified elite," the standard fell to three instead of five and a requirement from a "Level 3" fast charger for 2026 was removed. The company also reduced employee training requirements.

The automaker said it has delayed $12 billion in EV-related spending as a result of slowing EV sales growth. Its Model e business division expects to lose up to $5.5 billion in 2024.

In December 2022, Ford CEO Jim Farley said two-thirds of dealers had signed up for the EV charging program. About half of Ford’s dealer network is currently enrolled in the voluntary program, Günsberg said. Ford and Lincoln combined have more than 2,800 dealerships in the U.S. The certification requirements, though, have attracted a few lawsuits with mixed results nationally.

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