Ford CEO Jim Farley On NACS, Charging Nervousness, And “Frenemies”

Ford CEO Jim Farley launched into a discipline journey just lately, driving the F-150 Lightning for 1,100 miles between California and Nevada, connecting with individuals alongside the way in which, and testing charging amenities. Farley made a pit cease at Laguna Seca throughout the Monterey Automotive Week, the place Ryan Levenson of The Kilowatts engaged in a candid dialogue with him.

Levenson requested Farley about his learnings from the F-150 Lightning street journey, to which the CEO responded that he wouldn’t use the time period vary anxiousness anymore. He skilled “charging anxiousness” as a substitute. Right here’s what he noticed throughout a charging cease in Coalinga, a metropolis in central California:

The Tesla individuals have been of their automobiles. They weren’t speaking to one another. It was 110 levels exterior. They’re streaming content material. After which there’s the remainder of us, Ford and Kia and Hyundai. We’re all speaking to one another. There’s possibly one 350 kW charger, the remainder are slow-speed. Lots of people haven’t finished this earlier than, they’re on their first lengthy journey. And we’re in a social membership, attempting to determine this out.


Farley shared how the charging expertise might enhance sooner or later. Ford introduced on Could 25, 2023, that its EVs would have entry to greater than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers from 2024 within the US and Canada with an adapter. From 2025, the Detroit automaker will supply in-built NACS connectors in its EVs.

Farley affirmed that he was glad that the Tesla deal went by way of. When Doug Discipline joined Ford because the chief superior product improvement and expertise officer in September 2022, the corporate began contemplating improved charging options and in contrast the present commonplace to Tesla, he added.

All of us began having plug failures, we’ll run them over and so they’re damaged, and all kinds of stuff occurred. It turned clear to all of us as leaders, that’s a greater resolution. It was engineered higher. I hate to say it, but it surely was.

Farley additionally spoke about growing collaboration between carmakers on the street to electrification. He thinks tie-ups are vital within the EV period to enhance buyer expertise, and the character of competitors is completely different than the ICE business.

We’ve got to resolve this [the charging problem]. We’re making it laborious for purchasers. That’s why Ford took the lead [in NACS adoption]. That’s why I separated the EV enterprise. As a result of our prejudice on the ICE aspect is to compete with individuals. And there’s no such factor as frenemies in that world. That’s why I created an EV enterprise in Ford as a result of we’d like a brand new sort of pondering. Frenemies within the digital electrical world is a actuality. Everybody’s working with one another.