It Turns Out That EU Car Buyers Aren’t as Hot on EVs as Ford Had Hoped

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

American automakers have grappled with the rollercoaster ups and downs of EV demand domestically, but it appears they’re having an equally difficult time convincing Europeans. Ford recently backed off its goal to convert 100 percent of its sales to electrics on the Old Continent, noting that it would follow buyer demand and produce more hybrids or PHEVs.

That’s a significant shift from its stated 2030 deadline to go all-electric, which was more aggressive than the EU’s plan to convert all sales by 2035. Like buyers in the States, European car shoppers have cooled on EVs, complicating Ford’s efforts, though it hasn’t given up completely, saying it still plans to reach the 100 percent EV mark at some point.

Ford has invested billions in EV production facilities, where it will partner with VW to produce MEB-based vehicles, the first of which is the Explorer EV we saw a short while ago. The Puma Gen-E will also land later this year, and Ford has been selling electric Transit vans in Turkey.

The move to EVs has been interesting to watch, both as someone covering the subject professionally and as an obsessed car buyer. People will only pay for what they want, and so far, EV mandates have done little to convince buyers that they’re the only and best path forward. The top-down push to electrification is even more puzzling here, as the U.S. has a notoriously sparse charging network, and EVs remain too expensive for a large portion of buyers.

[Image: Ford Europe]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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8 of 20 comments
  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on May 09, 2024

    On a different note, I read that 30% of the world's energy is now generated by "renewable" sources.

    • See 1 previous
    • Carson D Carson D on May 10, 2024

      Only energy that is expensive and scarce is politically correct. If someone perfected a film that allowed every structure and vehicle to be powered by four hours of sunlight a day, the climate change liars would blacken the sky. As we speak, they are buying farmland and capturing carbon from industrial processes. As a human being, I find agriculture to be a great use of carbon dioxide. It is the building block of life on this planet, and I like being alive. Meanwhile, the people who said the world would end in 1980 back in 1968 are still saying the world will end in a dozen years, and there are now more stupid people that believe them than ever. They've been wrong for 44 years, but their ideas are influencing policy and being taught in schools. What a perverse joke.

  • EBFlex EBFlex on May 09, 2024

    “Insatiable demand”

    Pretty sad when even the uber deranged EU doesn’t want EVs.

  • TheEndlessEnigma TheEndlessEnigma on May 10, 2024

    Let's fix that headline, shall we? "It Turns Out That Car Buyers Aren’t as Hot on EVs as Ford Had Hoped". It's not just Euroweenie car buyers that aren't all lathered up to buy an EV, it's the car buying public in general.

  • ClipTheApex ClipTheApex on May 10, 2024

    I don't understand all of the negativity from folks on this forum regarding Europeans. Having visited the EU multiple times across different countries, I find they are very much like us in North America-- not as different as politicians like to present them. They all aren't liberal "weenies." They are very much like you and me.

    Unless you've travelled there and engaged with them, it's easy to digest and repeat what we hear. I wish more Americans would travel abroad. When they return, they will have a different view of America. We are not as perfect or special as we like to believe. And no, many Europeans don't look up to America. Quite the opposite, actually.

    • EBFlex EBFlex on May 10, 2024

      Liberal insanity is very rampant over there and on a higher level than it is here. They are 4-5 steps ahead of the most liberal areas of the US. It’s disgusting. Nice to see the tide turning back to sanity