Ford Motor Co.’s executive chair pointed to polarization in US politics as one of the reasons the automaker is slowing production of its first electric pickup.
(Bloomberg) — Ford Motor Co.’s executive chair pointed to polarization in US politics as one of the reasons the automaker is slowing production of its first electric pickup.
“Blue states say EVs are great and we need to adopt them as soon as possible for climate reasons,” Bill Ford said in an interview with the New York Times. “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.”
Ford announced last week it was temporarily cutting a shift at its Dearborn, Michigan, plant that assembles F-150 Lightning pickups, citing quality checks and supply chain issues. On Tuesday, General Motors Co. said it would delay opening its second electric-truck factory in Michigan “to better manage capital investment while aligning with evolving EV demand.”
US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have starkly different views on EVs. Biden wants half of new-vehicle sales to be electric by the end of the decade and has signed several laws in his first term that offer incentives to consumers, car and battery manufacturers and charging operators. Trump skipped a Republican presidential candidate debate last month to argue to blue-collar voters in Michigan that shifting to EVs will doom the auto industry.
EVs also are becoming part of the culture wars at the state level. Whereas California and other states mandate that zero-emission vehicles make up an increasing share of manufacturers’ sales, lawmakers in Wyoming introduced legislation early this year that would have banned the sale of EVs in the state by 2035. The bill didn’t advance.
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