Ford’s CEO Jim Farley Offers Perspectives on Tesla’s NACS Adoption and Transition to Electric Vehicles

Key Points

  • 🚗 Ford CEO Jim Farley took a 1,100-mile road trip to observe the electric vehicle transition.
  • ⚡ Farley met with Tesla drivers and EV advocates during his journey.
  • 🌐 Ford secured a deal with Tesla to use the Supercharger Network, allowing Ford drivers to connect to it.
  • 🔌 Ford adopted Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) after recognizing its superiority and engineering.
  • 💡 Adoption of NACS by Ford spurred other automakers like GM to support the charging standard.
  • 🧩 The decision to adopt NACS involved discussions with Tesla and was facilitated by federal incentives and Ford’s EV sales growth.

Earlier in the current month, Ford’s CEO Jim Farley embarked on an extensive 1,100-mile road trip to witness the electric vehicle transition firsthand. His journey commenced in Silicon Valley, included a stop in Los Angeles, and concluded in Las Vegas. During this voyage, Farley had the opportunity to engage with numerous electric vehicle owners, encompassing Tesla drivers and EV advocates.

Among those he met was Ryan Levenson, a devoted EV owner and the founder and operator of The Kilowatts, a brand promoting clean energy and an EV rental fleet. Their interaction took place at Laguna Seca, where Farley expressed his satisfaction with Ford’s agreement to utilize Tesla’s Supercharger Network.

“I’m certainly glad we made that Tesla deal… All the Ford personnel retrofitted, receiving an adapter and a smartphone app to connect to the Supercharger Network,” Farley remarked.

Furthermore, Farley extensively discussed Ford’s decision to adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS). Ford’s backing of NACS played a pivotal role in catalyzing its widespread acceptance within the charging standards arena. Notably, after Ford’s endorsement, several other automakers, including GM, followed suit by supporting NACS.

The CEO highlighted that Ford’s adoption of NACS was the culmination of a process that acknowledged Tesla’s superior charging standard. Farley stated that eventually, the transition to NACS was an obvious choice.

“When Doug Fields joined our company about a year and a half ago, we initiated discussions about the plug design itself, whether the industry-standard plug is on par with the Tesla plug. We experienced incidents of plug failures, running over plugs causing them to break, and various other issues. It became evident to us as leaders that the NACS plug was a better solution. Regrettably, it was true.

“We then initiated talks with Tesla because we believed it would benefit both them and the industry as a whole. These discussions began a couple of years ago, but gained momentum when the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was passed. We perceived that Tesla could potentially receive federal funding to expand their Supercharger Network if it adhered to a standard. Additionally, we became the second-largest seller of EVs in the US. Consequently, we engaged in serious conversations for some time… It was an unequivocal decision for us,” Farley elucidated.

Watch The Kilowatts‘ interview with Ford CEO Jim Farley in the video here.

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