Ford enables all dealers to sell EVs, bringing +90% of Americans within reach

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As Ford looks to grow its Model e EV business, the company believes its dealer network can be a significant asset. Ford announced Thursday it’s enabling all dealers to sell EVs, meaning 90% of Americans will live within 25 miles of a Ford dealership that sells electric vehicles.

Ford introduced its Model e EV dealer program in 2022. The company asked its dealers to take part in its “revolutionary” transition to electric

The program was intended to streamline EV sales, getting models into dealerships that expressed interest. Dealers could choose between two tiers: Certified or Certified Elite.

In December 2022, CEO Jim Farley revealed that 1,920 dealers joined in. However, Ford Spokesperson Marty Gunsberg confirmed a year later, “enrollments are just over 50%,” down from roughly two-thirds.

Ford has since eased requirements as the market has evolved over the past few years. After meeting with dealers and taking in feedback, Ford is now opening its network so all dealers can sell EVs.

2024 Ford F-150 Lightning Flash (Source: Ford)

Ford is allowing all dealers to sell EVs

Marin Gjaja, COO for Ford Model E, told Electrek on a media briefing Thursday that it’s officially sunsetting the Model E program.

All Ford dealers will now be able to sell and service EVs. Opening its network means over 90% of Americans will live within 25 miles of a Ford dealership that can sell or service an EV.

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Bronze edition (Source: Ford)

Ford said the move comes amid a widening gap between where EVs are right now (regarding range, charging, and performance) and buyers’ perception. By introducing a simple, hassle-free way of selling EVs, Ford believes it can help close that gap.

The Model e dealer program will be retired at the end of the month with changes rolling out starting on July 1, 2024.

Ford F-150 Lightning (Source: Ford)

For dealers that have already invested in the program, Ford says it’s still in discussions. However, Gjaja noted that invested dealers will still have a competitive advantage. With charging infrastructure, dealers will generate more traffic, leading to higher sales, service, and charging revenue.

The announcement comes after Ford’s EV sales surged 65% in May. Ford’s F-150 Lightning remained the top-selling electric truck in the US, with 4,255 units sold.

2024 Ford F-150 Lightning lineup (Source: Ford)

The Ford Mustang Mach-e was the second best-selling electric SUV, behind Tesla’s Model Y. Meanwhile, E-Transit sales increased 77% YOY with 1,450 units sold.

Ford remains the second best-selling EV brand in the US (not including combined Hyundai and Kia sales), with over 37,200 electric cars sold through May. That’s nearly double the 19,809 EVs sold at this time last year.

Ford Explorer EV production (Source: Ford)

Overseas, Ford’s first all-electric Explorer rolled off the assembly line at its new Cologne EV plant in Germany last week. Ford will reveal a second EV, an electric sports crossover based on VW’s MEB platform (the same used for its ID series), with production slated to begin by the end of the year.

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