By on March 29, 2021

Ford Motor Co. has reportedly issued a stop-sale on its electric vehicle home charging solution. The good news is that Mach-E buyers can use the included mobile charger to plug into any 120V outlet (or regular charging station) and still have the option to buy a third-party box that effectively does the same thing as the wall unit Ford has placed on a sales hiatus. But it’s not particularly heartening to learn that the automaker had to stop selling a $799 EV charging device that hasn’t been working properly when it only started manufacturing the Mach-E a few months ago.

Then again, traditional automakers haven’t had the best track record with EVs. The industry as a whole seems to be struggling with them and their peripheral equipment, likely due to the segment still being in its infancy. At least Ford seems to have learned how to roll with the punches. 

According to Automotive News, the manufacturer is actively directing customers to third-party websites to buy wall chargers without its seal on the box. According to its report, the automaker stopped selling them on February 24th after it realized some of them weren’t functioning properly. Rather than risk a minor scandal with its own hardware, the company is now redirecting customers. Ford has likewise assured us that its team is hard at work trying to remedy the issue in a timely manner.

From AN:

“We’ve been told to go on Amazon and order chargers that way,” Evelyn Sames, COO of Sames Auto Group, said at an Automotive News Retail Forum panel this month.

Two other dealers who asked to not be identified said their zone representatives also suggested turning to Amazon, but only if a customer raises the question. One of the dealers said it had not been an issue for the few Mach-Es they’ve sold so far.

Ford sold 238 Mach-Es in January and 3,739 in February. The crossover won the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award and has received mostly positive reviews from the media and investors.

While trying to home charge off a 120V wall socket is probably sufficient for those who don’t do much driving, most people aren’t buying the Mach-E to hide it in their garage. Purchasing the first year of a brand new model using a powertrain the manufacturer has extremely limited experience with? It’s definitely not something from the mind of a true pragmatist, however, even people that buy on emotion would like their vehicle to retain its functionality.

One isn’t going to feel comfortable commuting if they cannot reliably bring their range back up each night and a 48-amp wall charger would do a lot to make that easier. A flubbed ownership experience isn’t something Ford is going to want to risk, hence it redirecting customers elsewhere. But we’re sure it’ll be back to selling its own home charging solution eventually — it’s not going to want to leave that money on the table forever.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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27 Comments on “Ford Reportedly Stops Selling Home EV Chargers...”

  • avatar

    Dealers should be prepared to recommend, and maybe even sell, one of the many third-party EVSEs that will happily charge a Mach-E, mostly for significantly less money than the $800 Ford wants.

    • 0 avatar

      Questions for Ford Motor Company:

      – Is an EV charger core or non-core for the vehicle manufacturer?
      – Are the drive motors in an EV core or non-core?
      – Is the battery pack in an EV core or non-core?
      – Is a ‘skateboard’ core or non-core? How about the body? [Seats? cf. TSLA]
      – Is sales and distribution core or non-core?
      – Data collection? Financing? Parts and Service? Remarketing? Recycling?

      Have you thought about your business model going forward?

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Early adopters have regularly been the guinea pigs for new technologies.
    Unless money is not a problem for an individual, it is best for a regular user to sit a new technology for a year or two, while the bugs are ironed out.

  • avatar

    Typical Ford. When they can’t get simple things like a battery charger or rust proofing right, it really removes all doubt about their vehicles having any semblance of quality. This is why their new vehicles like the Bronco Sport, the Edge Mach E, F150, Explorer etc are having issues left and right

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’m beginning to see your point about Ford.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s good. More people need to wake up and see the truth.

        This started under Mulally. People love to praise him and say that he saved Ford when in reality he was a cancer. He may have saved them in the short term but he set them up for failure long term. That’s why I coined the phrase “profits now, recalls later” when it came to his business strategy. Fields tried his best to turn things around, but his only job was to take the fall for Mulally’s mistakes that were coming to fruition. Then Hackett was given the reigns and cut everywhere he could. And the result is F-150s that have substantial rust before hitting customer’s hands while spending money on designing a Rube Goldberg shifter and reclining seat.

        They are a ship without a rudder.

      • 0 avatar

        “I’m beginning to see your point about Ford.”
        +1 on that one.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Stupid all around. Ford has no business selling home chargers when you can buy a variety of good ones online.

    Skimming a little profit from would-be EV customers on this accessory isn’t a way to make EV ownership easier – which should be their goal. A better way would be to provide a $1000 voucher for an installed charger setup, complete with a local contractor.

    My 2012 Schneider Electric has fueled my EVs for nearly 60k miles without hiccup. These things are remarkably simple inside, so a malfunctioning charger is inexcusable.

    • 0 avatar

      I get the feeling this decision is heavily influenced by lawyers. The potential profit from selling these is probably less than $200 per unit. The potential losses from fire lawsuits are, say, $10 million per unit. So the cost-benefit calculation is slanted pretty far one way.

      • 0 avatar

        A very good point.

      • 0 avatar

        I think you found the root cause for the “Stop Sale” order….the lawyers got involved.

        A lot of older homes still have fuses as opposed to breakers. Also, many of the panel boxes may have not have the reserve to handle an additional load. My house was built in 1968, and came with fuses. I’ve had it rebuilt with breakers, but would be hesitant to install a charger. I’ll stick with ICE vehicles for the mean time.

  • avatar

    “We’ve been told to go on Amazon…”

    Why does Ford hate small local businesses?

  • avatar

    Ford can’t make a battery charger….but they want you to buy a battery powered car.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford doesn’t make the chargers, they don’t make anything. They’re simply assemblers, like most automakers. But no doubt they went with the lowest bidder.

      But I don’t see the issue. Just go with a different brand of charger. If Ford put on bad Firestones, get a different brand. At least no one’s dying from defective chargers.

  • avatar

    Typical Mach-E owners don’t really need one of these anyway. Mach-E’s come with a mobile charging cable with the option to plug into a 115VAC receptacle (useless) or a 230VAC receptacle, which is more than adequate for home-charging needs, if supplied by a 50A or better circuit.

    I use the Tesla mobile charging cable exclusively for charging my Model 3. Due to the cable-gauge, it’s limited to 32A on my garage circuit with a NEMA 14-50 plug/receptacle (~29 miles-per-hour recharge rate).

    The Tesla wall-charger runs about $500 and although it offers up to 48A depending on circuit ampacity, it just isn’t a good value for home-charging in my opinion.

    The only reason I would ever buy one would be as an insurance policy in the event that I forget to pack the mobile charging cable in the trunk before a road-trip.

  • avatar

    Do they test the product before putting it on the market? I mean QA.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    @SCE to AUX
    Agree that battery chargers are not a new technology.

    Perhaps I didn’t explain myself correctly, chargers are a new technology to Ford which they don’t have the experience of either designing or producing.

    • 0 avatar

      While battery chargers are not new tech….battery powered cars ARE new tech. Just like your point Ford not having experience producing chargers…..they also no not have the experience designing and producing electric cars.

      • 0 avatar

        Electric vehicles are excruciatingly simple, old tech, etc. Yet battery chargers are exponentially simpler.

        Getting things to appeal to consumers, fly down the assembly line at the maximum possible profits, suppliers lined up, lowest bidders, the thing to work properly, reliably, etc, stockholders happy, to name a few is where it get a little complicated.

        But the bad EV charger is like Winnebago selling you a motorhome and the microwave fails.

        We’re talking about two wildly different things.

        • 0 avatar

          I would disagree, the charger is an integral component of the auto and should be considered as such. Without the charger the electric car is nothing more than a garage sized paperweight.

          • 0 avatar

            It looks like a soap dispenser with the Ford logo. That’s basically the sophistication of it.

            Mine says Craftsman and it’s 12v. It’s not mounted to the wall, and I could have one instead that says Ford but I’ll take a hard pass.

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