Ford delays next-gen EVs, mulls hybrid option on full lineup

By automotive-mag.com 3 Min Read

Ford is the latest automaker to delay the rollout of key electric vehicles in the face of market demand growing at a slower rate than predicted.

It said on Thursday it will delay key EV projects like the full-size pickup truck code-named the T3, and a long-awaited three-row SUV that may carry the Explorer badge.

While the delay will give Ford more time to develop the vehicles, it will also free up resources to enable Ford to add hybrid technology to its current lineup. That could include the Mustang, Bronco, and full F-Series range. Ford on Thursday said it expects to offer hybrid powertrains across its entire lineup in North America by the end of the decade, though the automaker may still change that plan. Ford previously pulled the plug on plan to launch a hybrid Mustang by 2020, for example.

In the case of the delayed EVs, the T3 pickup is now due in 2026 instead of the original plan of 2025. It will be built at Ford’s new BlueOval City assembly complex near Stanton, Tennessee, where preparations for the vehicle are already underway. It will use a dedicated EV platform, unlike the F-150 Lightning which uses a platform originally developed for gas-powered trucks, and has previously been described by Ford CEO Jim Farley as the “Millennium Falcon of trucks.”

Ford Gen 2 electric SUV after efficiency improvements

Also facing delays is a three-row SUV that Ford had planned to build at its plant in Oakville, Ontario, starting in 2025. It will now start production there in 2027, Ford said.

Preparations at the Oakville plant for the electric SUV will begin in the second quarter of 2024 as originally planned. The SUV is rumored to be an electric Explorer, in which case there will likely be a Lincoln Aviator counterpart. Like the T3 pickup, the SUV will be based on a dedicated EV platform. Ford has previously promised a range of 350 miles, though the final result may be better as the automaker said a reason for the delay is also to capitalize on emerging battery technology.

Not all EV programs have been delayed. An electric commercial vehicle remains on track for launch by mid-decade. It will be built at Ford’s plant in Avon Lake, Ohio, where preparations for the vehicle are underway.

Ford is also plugging away at development of a low-cost, flexible platform for affordable EVs in smaller segments. The identity and timing for vehicles on this platform haven’t been announced.

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