Ford CEO Fields: We Will Fight EPA’s 2025 Emission Mandate, EV Adoption Regs

12 months ago by Jay Cole 145

Ford CEO Mark Fields has some feelings about the EPA's timing to lock up 2025 CO2/CAFE standards before President-Elect Trump takes offive

Ford CEO Mark Fields has some feelings about the EPA’s timing to lock up 2025 CO2/CAFE standards before President-Elect Trump takes offive

Ford CEO Mark Fields publicly tipped his toe into the murky waters of using questionable statistics to prove that his company should be exempt from future C02 emission/fleet MPG standards, as a result of a recent EPA mid-term review to lock in 2025 emission standards before the Trump administration takes control in January.

More full-size trucks for everyone!

Fields, for his part, says that Ford is being forced to build more plug-ins and hybrids than the consumer doesn’t want, and that those vehicles are hurting profits.

But before we get into the “quotes of annoyance” from the Ford boss specifically, here is a brief backstory/timeline of events that has prompted the public outburst from Fields:

President Obama In 2017 Chevrolet Bolt At 2016 NAIAS

President Obama In 2017 Chevrolet Bolt At 2016 NAIAS

2012: Obama Administration introduces new CO2 emission standards along with NHTSA CAFE standards for a fleet at 54.5 mpg  (works out to ~38 MPG in real world terms), around the same time CARB introduces the start of minimium ZEV (zero emission vehicles) production requirements in California

Through April 2018: timeline for the final “mid-term” review to be filed on EPA’s 2022-2025 mandate for tailpipe emissions of CO2/54.5 MPG – to make sure the planned benchmarks are “technically” possible

November 8th, 2016: US has an administration change that will take office January 20th, President-Elect Trump widely expected to be less “environmentally friendly” when any such progress may also impair US prosperity

November 10th, 2016:  “Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers” – a shell entity made up of most of the major automakers (General Motors, Ford, BMW, Mercedes, VW, Mazda, Volvo, Fiat, Jaguar, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Toyota) fires off a letter to the new Trump administration, basically ask to not only hold back on that mid-term review process before the administration change, but to also then “reform” the process – thereby rolling everything back, discontinuing the current emission standards for the future, and also “harmonize” and control CARB and its ZEV programs

President Obama gets into an Ford Focus Electric Prototype In July Of 2010 during the groundbreaking ceremony For LG's Holland Plant in July of 2010

President Obama gets into an Ford Focus Electric Prototype In July Of 2010 during the groundbreaking ceremony For LG’s Holland Plant in July of 2010

November 30th, 2016: although the EPA’s Janet McCabe, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, says the timing was unintentional, suddenly the EPA has completed its mid-term review way early (~17 months ahead of the deadline), and as a result, we now enter a 30 day comment/review period before seeking a “final approval” on or around December 30th, 2016 from the Obama government – just three weeks before President-Elect Trump takes over.

December 30th and onward:  if the EPA mandate is approved (and it will be), it is then no simple thing/magic wand for the Trump administration to undo.  As to do so would start over the full (and complicated) NHSTA review process on any new standards, as well the effort to contest/over-turn all the science in the currently filed review.  From there, the process would have to withstand the myriad of legal challenges from environmental groups that would surely come, and also wind its way into the Senate (who will be busy working on rolling back all sorts of other programs).  Basically, it will be a huge pain, and it will take a heck of a long time.

…then after all that fight is over, add in the fact California (CARB) still has its own special legal rights (recognized and defended by the Supreme Court) to enforce transportation regulations to control air-quality standards, so gaining control over CARB is even a step further still.  And if you can’t defeat CARB, the whole rest of the process is essentially meaningless.

Got all that?  Good.  Back to Fields.

Ford CEO Mark Fields posing with a decidedly "not" fuel/CO2 efficient Ford GT

Ford CEO Mark Fields posing with a decidedly “not” fuel/CO2 efficient Ford GT

The Ford CEO, as part of the “Auto Alliance” wants the Trump administration to be affronted by the EPA’s ‘rushed’ review, and turn the whole thing on its head, regardless of the challenge it will present.

“What happened was through eleventh-hour politics, it short-circuited a data-driven development of regulations,” Fields said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Southfield, Michigan, office Friday

And like any good (and self-serving) CEO, he came armed with some loose facts to support his position – that the consumer doesn’t really want any of those highly efficient vehicles his company will be forced to build.

“In 2008, there were 12 electrified vehicles offered in the U.S. market and it represented 2.3 percent of the industry. Fast forward to 2016, there’s 55 models, and year to date it’s 2.8 percent.”

This is not a formula for success, he said. “At the end of the day, you’ve got to have customers, so obviously, there would be pressure on the business if there’s not a market.”

Not withstanding the CEO’s opinion of what the public “wants” (or that the current demand that is mostly a reflection of the incongruent offerings the auto industry has presented of late – thus self-fulfilling any prophecy), the actual review filed by the EPA was not done so to judge what the future US consumer wants, it was there to assess whether or not it was technically possible…of which the EPA said the industry is prepared.

Yay for more trucks!

Yay for more trucks!

Via the EPA:

“Based on extensive technical analysis that shows automakers are well positioned to meet greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for model years 2022-2025, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy today proposed leaving the standards in place, so the program that was established in 2012 will stay on track to nearly double fuel economy, dramatically cut carbon pollution, maintain regulatory certainty for a global industry, and save American drivers billions of dollars at the pump.”

See? Nothing about if the US consumer in 2025 really wants a circa 2016 hybrid or not.  Just that they have the know-how/ability to do it.

A rare opportunity for us to break into our "Politician with EV" stock footage files (President Obama seen here with 1st gen Chevrolet Volt)

A rare opportunity for us to break into our “Politician with EV” stock footage files (President Obama seen here with 1st gen Chevrolet Volt)

Ford CEO Fields said he still looks to Trump to “continue the dialog as planned”, and offered that the automakers may look for clean-air credits for self-driving cars.

And why would this be helpful if they those vehicles still burning petrol at a higher/dirtier rate than the current future standards would allow?  Fields says that fuel emission would be reduced as self-driving tech would help traffic move more smoothly.


Despite Ford's stance to halt the progress of electrified vehicles, the company still lead all US automakers in November with 2,604 plug-in vehicle sales

Despite Ford’s stance to halt the progress of electrified vehicles, the company still lead all US automakers in November with 2,604 plug-in vehicle sales

Mr. Fields also said he has no plans to change or rollback Ford’s $4.5 billion worth of planned investment into electrified vehicles by 2020; which makes a lot of sense as the emission standards are set in stone between today and 2022, and if anything, the road to killing the 2022-2025 standards just got a lot tougher.

Bloomberg also added a little after-the-fact, green-washing note from the Ford CEO”

“Ford wants to continue to help boost fuel economy and lessen the industry’s environmental impact, because the company acknowledges climate change as a serious threat, Fields said.”

Bloomberg, EPA, hat tip to ffbj!

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145 responses to "Ford CEO Fields: We Will Fight EPA’s 2025 Emission Mandate, EV Adoption Regs"

  1. James says:

    Of course they will.

    Ford is the biggest foot-dragger of eco cars in the entire automaker world – well, besides maybe FCA and Suburu…

    1. James says:

      I should couch my statement by saying – *of the car companies that can afford the R & D. Smaller companies like Mazda just can’t afford an EV program. They’d be most likely to license Ford or someone else’s technology.

      Of course, the same can be said about all maker ICEmakers. GM is playing it’s own compliance game – and they indeed have lawyers and lobbyists challenging the C.A.F.E. and C.A.R.B. laws too. At least we can point to the Volt and Bolt EV and say they’ve dedicated a whole lot of R & D into creating those projects. It is also noteworthy that GM is actually going to sell Bolt EV ( hopefully in all markets ).

      Ford is just the first to openly confirm they are challenging these laws.

      GM has provided attorneys and funding for auto dealer associations to challenge Tesla’s direct sales approach – so they all show their true colors in their intentions to further electrification in transportation.

      Believe me – if it weren’t for those federal and state fuel economy mandates and Tesla slowly growing in popularity and scope – the EV would be dead, dead dead in the water!

      1. BenG says:

        If the start-up Tesla can build a compelling EV then Mazda, with $25 billion in sales and $1 billion in profit could if they wanted.

        1. Becker says:

          Call Obama and ask him to give Mazda $4-5Billion before he leaves office. They’d probably whip up a few EVs then.

          1. Assaf says:

            Is Mazda much smaller than Mitsubishi?

            Or is Subaru (a subsidiary of Fuji, AFAIK) much smaller?

            Enough with the excuses for multi-billion corporations.

            Oh, and s*** on Ford and double-s*** on its still s***** BEV/PHEV offerings. Whatever contributions they make to to plug-in sales numbers is worthless, as long as they continue this crap politics and outright lying.

            1. SJC says:

              ALL automakers opposed the 2025 goals, they can meet the 2020 goals but 50+ mpg is a stretch.

            2. Oswald says:

              Did you miss the article last week showing The Chevy Bolt has the best value for MSRP / miles of range, with the Ford Focus Electric in second place? Yeah it beat all the others on a cost to miles of range proposition outside of the Bolt. Maybe if EV “fans” stopped seriously hating on half of the EVs out there the industry could go somewhere.

          2. pjwood1 says:

            Mazda and GM plan compliant diesels, and should have no trouble reaching ~36mpg without “4-5 billion”.

          3. przemo_li says:

            You serious?

            Of course Obama wanted to give Mazda the money!!! He even pushed for the law that was accepted by congress that would authorize federal agencies to give such money to Mazda….

            Mazda refuse (as in, back then and right now), to take those.

            Could Mazda get low interest loans for EV development? Of course (Tesla did not even got most of those money!).
            Could Mazda get ZEV credits? Of course.
            Could Mazda negotiate beneficial tax deductions for their own Gigafactory in USA? Of course.
            Could Mazda get various benefits for pushing EVs? Of course.

            Not only Obama would be eager to give money to Mazda, a lots of states would happily hand more money to Mazda too.

            Mazda simply refused to do what Tesla did. Instead they decided that cheating CO2 levels methodology is cheaper.

        2. JyKiaNiro says:


      2. Rennie Allen says:

        How can you say anything about GM other than that they are the clear BEV market leader? They have the first affordable 200+ mile BEV. Next is Nissan/Renault. Tesla with their various forms of $80,000+ stupidity isn’t even a player. Vaporware counts for nothing.

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:


        2. Anti-Lord Kelvin says:

          Hum…great! One more comment to record for posterity, thanks.

        3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Rennie Allen said:

          “How can you say anything about GM other than that they are the clear BEV market leader?”

          Perhaps you should take a short break from your counter-factual Tesla bashing, and look at InsideEVs’ own Monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard.

          There you will see that Tesla Motors has been the clear North American plug-in market leader, both this year and last. They lead not merely with BEV sales, but outsell every model of PHEV too. Not only does the Model S outsell the much less expensive Volt, if you add in Tesla Model X sales, then Tesla as an auto maker outsells all the BEVs and PHEVs that GM makes, at least in the North American market.

          And if you’re going to point to cumulative international sales, I think the Nissan Leaf has easily outsold any plug-in EV made by GM.

    2. jimjonjack says:

      This Ford CE0 is Truly convinced that He Has the God Given right to make Huge profits All the while making people sick as He RUINS the enviroment with Ford T0XIC Fumes……………….SO…., Shoot yourself in the foot & buy a Ford!

      1. mx says:

        Capitalism incentivizes stupidity.
        At some point, it not about the cars, it’s just about the profit.
        Typically that’s when the CEO should resign. Because he’s lost the reason for the company’s existence.

        Throw in there that saving the planet isn’t on his balance sheet.

        1. mx says:

          Look at the quality drop at McDonalds.
          Burgers that don’t degrade.
          Bacon-Egg-Cheese resembles factory food had has lost 50% of flavor over the last years.

          1. jimjonjack says:

            THE BIG Problem is that All these GM0’d foods have only a Fraction of the Nurishment That they once naturally had . Did You know that you need to 17 Cobs of this “GM0” Corn ,To equal the nurishment of “One Natural Corn” cob.& the Engineered Pestiscides in the corn are eating out our Insides… causing “Perpherated Stomac & Bowl Syndrome etc:..

    3. WadeTyhon says:

      Disappointed that he hasn’t seen the light, but not exactly surprised. Ford hasn’t made any significant investment in it’s lineup since it’s inception.

      His reasoning is confusing to me though… The Energi lineup has been selling well all things considered. While Fusion sales overall are down significantly for 2016… Fusion Energi sales are up significantly.

      But clearly “…there’s not a market.” Right. Sedan sales are down for every automaker… except for their plug-in models which are mostly up.

      Thankfully GM, BMW, Nissan and Tesla know that EVs are the future. They have the most invested in the technology and will continue to push it.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Fords PHEV are there to assist in offsetting fleet MPGs of its trucks while still turning a profit thanks to the fed credit, but what Fields really wants to break the back of CARB/find a work around…its right there in his suggestion to “seek clean-air credits for self-driving cars”.

        Ford sold 2,604 plug-ins last month, and that was great…but only 66 ZEV qualifying BEVs (Focus Electrics), or 2.5% of the net. For this year Ford has moved 22,307 of the Fusion/C-Max Energi, but just 800 all-electric Ford Focus EVs (3.5%).

        Ford’s issue is its California sales are growing fast (up 11.5%) to 203,000 in 2015.

        Up to 2017 they need to accumulate a minimum of .79 ZEV credits per 100 sales (of which the ‘old’ 76 mile Focus which got 2.5 per sales), so this year (if sales are the same as 2015) they have to get 1,603 credits / 2.5 per Focus sale, or 641 BEV sales – which they maybe will achieve(probably end the year around 925 totals, and currently just under 400 of the 800 sales to date have come in CA specific).

        Here is the rub, in 2018 the threshold goes to 2%. We should note, the larger battery in the 2017 Focus that puts the range up over 100 miles, nets them an extra 1/2 credits, for 3 credits on each Focus sale.

        If Ford sells say ~225,000 light vehicles in California in 2018, they will need to acquire 4,500 credits – triple 2017’s number, of which they need to move 1,500 2017 Focus EVs…a number they will fall well short of this year (and also why the new upgraded Focus if $50 cheaper – they have to sell more), every credit short will cost the $5,000 a pop. Sidenote: Ford has stocked piled a fair bulk of BEV credits from previous years, so they won’t actually run short in 2018, or 2019 for that matter.

        But the nightmare is every subsequent year past 2018, as it increases by 2% PER YEAR, until 2025…and CARB wants to make the threasholds even high. So they will need the at least following credits in just California (based on 225,000 sales in CA)

        2018 4,500 (equivalent to 1,500 Focus EVs)
        2019 9,000 (3,000 Focus EVs)
        2020 13,500 (4,500 Focus EVs)
        2021 18,000 (6,000 Focus EVs)
        2022 22,500 (7,500 Focus EVs)
        2023 27,000 (9,000 Focus EVs)
        2024 31,500 (10,500 Focus EVs)
        2025 36,000 (12,000 Focus EVs)

        And this is the minimum for just California, starting in 2018 the same threshold has to be met in ~9 other “CARB states” as the travel provisions leaves also in 2018 – which is why CA is high right now (in 2018 credits earned in CA can’t be used in other CARB areas as offsets). Sidenote: Fuel cell vehicles get 9 credits, and the credits can travel post 2018

        Those states are: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. With another 6 in the process of signing up.

        These 10 states account for 28.5% of all auto sales. So if say 22,000,000 light vehicles are sold in 2025, and just those same 10 states are in play, 6,160,000 vehicles will be sold in CARB states, which will require ~950,000 credits (15.4%), or 325,000 BEVs under 200 miles of range/237,500 BEVS of 200+ miles of range.

        Obviously it would be impossible to “hit the number” on the head in each states, so the automakers on the whole would likely need to sell roughly double in those states for compliance – so 625,000/475,000 BEVs in CARB states, plus the run-off sales for the other 71% of the country, probably 50% of the CARB states…so you are looking at forced BEV adoption of around 1 million BEVs (100 milers) or 710,000 (200 miles).

        That is the reality Ford is looking to escape.

        Ford owns 14.8% of the US market share, so that means they would have to sell 148,000 sub 200 mile BEVs, or 105,000 200+ mile EVs per year in just 8 years time to be fully compliant (and maybe more if CARB gets it way…with standards likely going higher every year after 2025).

        What Ford really doesn’t want to do, is have to go to LG Chem and/or Magna and source volume production of a 200 mile EV that they will likely only make the thinnest of profit on (or sell at a loss).

        Remember these are $35,000+ vehicles, these buyers are Ford’s ‘premium’ customers (not Fiesta buyers) who can afford them…so they are converting their highest margin clients to lost leaders for the most part.

        1. TX NRG says:

          Great summary Jay. That clearly explains the gravity of the situation Ford is facing from the CARB regulations and your last line summed up the significant risk to their business.

        2. Mike says:

          Very informative summary Jay. Thanks.

          The one thing I notice is that you couch everything in Focus sales. Maybe a more appealing option would improve their situation. It seems to me that if Ford put some effort into matching the Model 3 they wouldn’t have any real problems with ZEV credits. The 400,000 reservations suggest that the demand is there if they would build an appealing car.

        3. wavelet says:

          That was _very_ useful, thanks! Which other 6 states are in the process of signing up?

          Incidentally, I also read the Quebec adopted its own ZEV mandate, essentially copying the California law (there were InsideEVs articles about a petition for this 3 years ago…):

          I think an article about the Canadian state of affairs is worth doing. The larger % of the market that has the same regs, the more manufacturer will stop struggling and get with the program.

        4. WadeTyhon says:

          Thank you very much for the detailed breakdown.

          I was looking at it purely from a MPG/CAFE perspective, not the ZEV credits for CARB. It cleared up a bit of what is going on in his head… but Ford has put itself in this position.

        5. VazzedUp says:

          Awesome explanation. Think you need to put this on a page of its own so we can reference the information. Never understood the CARB system before.
          Maybe Ford should focus some effort on bringing a ‘premium’ EV to the market for those important customers of theirs. Guess they really don’t believe they exist to sell to.

        6. Josh Bryant says:

          Boom! [as Jay drops the mic]

          Could someone cut and paste this as a dedicated post please?

          This is the real story behind every automaker. Toyota didn’t just figure out batteries are good. VW, Merc, BMW, GM, Honda, etc. same story.

          They all need to find a way to meet CARB and still make a profit. Not convert their most profitable customers to become their least.

          In a world with no Tesla, OEMs could have ganged up on CARB and said nobody wants BEVs. It happened once before.

          1. Yes, it happened in 2000-2003 when the auto manufacturers were successful in stopping California Air Resources Board (CARB) with their Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate.

            We didn’t see a requirement again for ZEV until Model Year 2012. Not surprisingly, the auto manufacturers petitioned the federal US government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in October 2012 to override CARB for ZEV compliance, but they were unsuccessful. Of course, the auto manufacturers said that not enough people wanted to buy EVs except maybe California, so let’s just sell the cars in California only.

            Now, just 48 hours after Trump is elected, many of the largest auto manufacturers in the world are trying it all again. They have petitioned the EPA to once again let them be free of onerous emission regulations.

            GM has almost immediately changed the “all states” rollout of Bolt EV to California and Oregon (just like the fully compliance only Spark EV started). I suspect that they will wait to see if EPA CAFE requirements can be lowered, which means that they won’t need Bolt EV sales to offset low mileage pickups and SUVs.

            Ford is pulling this crap.

            Fiat / Chrysler is dancing in the streets since they put the absolute minimum into ZEV compliance.

            It’s quite possible that the future “mass market” EVs will be from Tesla and offshore manufacturers.

            1. przemo_li says:

              Well even market leader Tesla do California-only “All states” EV launches.

              So nothing interesting here to see. 😉

              GM after all is not that big, and they have less efficient organization. Who knows if SparkEV supporting dealerships can even service Bolt without serious tool&manpower upgrades?

              So give them a break. They follow market leader approach, so they do at works OK job (and most probably follow best practice).

            2. SparkEV says:

              There are several key difference between 2000-2003 and today.

              First is DCFC. When even 80 miles range SparkEV can travel 1000 miles a day (or 650 miles with 8 hours of sleep), that’s a game changer. It’s no longer second car just for commuting. DCFC expansion is making EV practical as primary vehicle.

              Second is Tesla. When you have 0-60 in 2.4 second monster that can carry 7 people breathing down your neck, you’d better do something.

              As Przemo mentioned above, launch is not indicative of things to come. Consumers will demand EV like they did with Tesla 3 reservations. Only fools will ignore their call, whether Tesla or offshore companies are meeting them.

        7. mx says:

          But makes it sound impossible. The drop in battery pricing actually makes it easier and easier.

          1. SparkEV says:

            Yup. This is neither impossible nor nightmare. Ford merely has to update and actively market the FFE. Seeing how SparkEV kicked butt of all comparably priced gas cars and Bolt is pushing the traction limits of FWD cars, FFE could certainly upgrade the motor so that it’s quicker than any gas car in its price range (including Focus ST).

            Then they can advertise FFE as the quickest car in the world at that price range ($20K post subsidy) while allowing 2 hours of driving for 30 minutes of charging. Far too often, carmakers are so focused on L2 charging speed and don’t mention the practicality of DCFC. When people find out “30 minutes to charge and quickest car in the world”, FFE will fly off the shelves, easily meeting CARB mandate. But I doubt Ford will make FFE eat into sales of their gas Focus ST or even Mustangs.

            So not being able to meet CARB is Ford’s self inflicted wound.

            1. Jay Cole says:


              Agreed, it isn’t impossible at all, that wasn’t really what I was getting it.And while yes the price of batteries is coming down, that isn’t the issue either.

              The issue is that the ~100,000 BEVs that Ford will need to sell will versus the other 600-900k BEVs that are mandated to sell.

              With BEVs there is no proprietary tech, no model variance protection as offered by ICE/PHEV. BEVs are all essentially the same “glider + battery = vehicle performance of any spec”, your only added value to sell is really in name/brand recognition.

              Compounding the issue, is that all the OEMs don’t want (or are afraid) to compete with battery makers (LG Chem, Samsung SDI mostly), so the battery itself is a commodity shared between OEMs…and the potential to be a huge net loser if even ONE oems goes it alone successfully.

              As an example, there is nothing “special” about the Bolt EV, you can bet right now Ford has a production-intent 200 mile, with LG batteries just waiting to magically arrive for ~2018, as do all the other OEMs to a degree. GM is only “special” because it has decided to go first to pick up as much cred (street and ZEV) as it can by doing so.

              Because of the battery sourcing, and the nature of BEV production being so simple, it is almost like selling a bar of gold in 2025, not a car…as in it has a set price, and your margin in selling them is nothing.

              So can Ford easily sell ~100,000 EVs in 2025, or GM, or Toyota? Sure, the tech is right there in front of them already today.

              The issue is that these will also need to be mid-size cars, utility vehicles, and the sort to sell in volume against other major offerings, and they will still have a premium price-point – $35,000+

              So Ford has to trade in ~105,000 of its conventional sales, not from low end Fiesta buyers to 200 mile+ EVs, but they will be converting their highest end/highest margin premium customers into zero margin (or even at a loss) 200 mile BEVs. And 200+ mile BEVs are great, will be really great in 2025 (300 mile SUVs for everyone!)…so the danger is the premium customer converted into a BEV is never going back to a conventional ICE.

              Those “top end customers” are the life blood of traditional OEMs, and they fear losing the battle for 2025, opens the door for even more stringent numbers in the future (of which they would be correct).

              That is what the rebellion is about. There is no scenario in the future where all these OEMs makes a decent automotive margins on BEVs.

              One can argue there may be zero to negative margin on BEV sales to all but 1 or 2 OEMs that can ultimately figure it out.

              1. Jay Cole says:

                An example of today’s reality and OEM’s hesitation in the segment.

                Look at GM with the Bolt EV (and again, love the Bolt EV, great its coming but…)

                GM looked at its lineup, picked out it worst performing, negative margin segment (small cars) then looked at its factories producing them and picked out the worst (Orion).

                So GM then ‘200 mile electrifies’ the Sonic (yes, I know its different in oh so many ways…but also not in so many at the same time – just go sit in one, then go sit in a Equinox or Impala, you will catch my drift).

                The point is, GM will lose zero high margin SUV/truck/luxury/full-size sales to the Bolt EV. The “loss leader” cost of compliance is at its lowest with the Bolt EV.

                And they didn’t electrify the Bolt EV because spending an extra 4K to add 25 kWh to a SUV or full-size car (to give it an equivalent range) was just too much cost for the consumer to bear.

                In fact, losing the ICE components of a higher displacement/premium/performance vehicles likely negates a lot of that added battery cost (to say nothing that it is easier to house batteries on larger platforms).

                All the OEMs are offering BEVs in segments that are immaterial to their bottom lines if they can just break even on the BEVs.

                Tesla isn’t going to sell ~45,000 EVs in the US this year because they have some special sauce while GM sells ~3,000. If anything their offerings are priced 50% too high. If a traditional OEM actually wanted to make them/had made them in the past, there would be no Tesla today.

                Tesla wisely found a niche where no OEMs would go for a long time…and they can take advantage of that because they have no “high margin” ICE vehicles to bastardize, so they are giving the people exactly what they want…full size/no compromise car, full size SUV.

                As a result of OEM planned/marginalized BEV product offerings, we have had to put up with a legion of “small segment” EVs under 100 miles for the past 6 years, and now we will put up with a legion of “small segment” BEVs with ~200 mile ranges for the next 4-5 years…but the increasing BEV sales floor, starting in 2018 and growing (2% per year), will force all the OEMs to diverge from the small segment BEVs by ~2022-2025 – as there simply is not enough sales down there to be had…and they also now have Tesla gaining in size/influence, and threatening to go there anyway in volume by ~2019/2020.

                The all really have been playing a game of “how long can we last building these” game of chicken with the other major OEMs. Eventually, one of the “big dogs” will break with the rising standards and make that “long range EV people want”. Then they all suddenly have to build that segment of BEV in order to hit quotas.

                The “money” is on Nissan to break first, as they have zero PHEVs on the US market, and over 100,000 BEV sales that were technically ‘totally unnecessary’ for compliance. Nissan has been the only major OEM to act divergently so far (Tesla is its own unique thing)… which is likely the disgruntlement we often hear about between Ghosn and his companies’ boards of directors.

                1. bws says:

                  I do not agree that this necessarily has to be converting high margin customers into low margin customers.

                  There are plenty of ways an OEM could differentiate themselves and build premium into an EV. The issue is many of these ways are new or different than OEMs would differentiate themselves in the past.

                  Give me a fantastic cockpit experience with really great software (even Tesla software is just average, which is great compared to most care software with is horrible, but it would be easy to top).

                  Give me a great passenger experience.

                  Use the lack of engine noise to make a really silent cabin (even Teslas are not very quiet inside, due to road noise and airflow noise).

                  Make a great looking car. (This one is not new).

                  The problem is they will have to lose some of their money making skews in order to get new money making skews. This has always been a problem for corporations, many die rather than learn to become profitable in a new reality.

                2. Nix says:

                  Jay, I think this fails to take into account that the ZEV credit system is also a market. Technically, Ford doesn’t have to build a single pure BEV. They just need to trade for them in the ZEV credit market.

                  For example, unless something has changed that I’m not aware of, all of these intermediate size car makers are allowed to use PHEV’s to fulfill 100% of their ZEV mandate:

                  Land Rover
                  Mercedes Benz


                  “IVMs may meet entire ZEV
                  percentage requirements with
                  credits from TZEVs”


                  So for example, Ford could trade 10,000 of their PHEV credits to BMW for maybe 8,000 of BMW’s pure BEV credits. That is a win-win-win trade. Ford would over-build more PHEV’s than they need for ZEV credits, then BMW gets added value out of each of their BEV credits. And in the end there are more PHEV’s and BEV’s in total on California roads.

                  Another example would be if Subaru decides as an IVM that they need to buy credits instead of building a PHEV or BEV. They could likely buy PHEV credits from Ford at a discount compared to how much Tesla may be asking for pure BEV credits. Ford sells Subaru 20,000 ZEV credits, and then turns around and takes that same money and buys 10,000 of the more valuable pure BEV credits from Tesla. Again a win-win-win. Subaru gets more time to build out PHEV’s and ZEV’s, while Ford over-produces PHEV’s, and Tesla sells ZEV credits that they don’t “need”. Consumers get more Tesla’s and more Ford PHEV’s.

                  So if Ford simply wants to build a 40 mile range PHEV Ranger, or 40 mile range PHEV SUV, they can sell into that higher dollar market that you talk about. And through the exchange they can swap/sell/trade their way to get their pure BEV ZEV credits.

                  There simply is no individual manufacturer mandate for BEV production. Production being the key word. They just need to work the market the way the market was designed.

                  1. Jay Cole says:

                    All intermediates all have to comply now, so on your list – BMW, Merc are included. Hyundai, Kia, VW are classed as large/majors today (top 5 OEMs globally).

                    Basically, the smaller OEMs produced enough evidence that they will have a hard time competing in the BEV segment against the larger players in the future.

                    So from 2018 on, small automakers can convert PHEVs credits to ZEV at a special rate to them in order to comply. These automakers can’t convert PHEV credits to ZEVs then turn around and sell them to other OEMs, but they can of course to whatever they like with the credits earned as originally classed.

                    Small in this case is defined by CARB as having less than $40 billion in global sales (which sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t.

                    So your “major” small OEMs in this case are: Jaguar, Mazda, Mitsu, Subaru and Volvo.

                    Quite honestly, no one really cares about the “small” OEMs, as they are fraction/inconsequential to the market, and if they grow past the threshold, then…presto, they need to comply.

                    The goal of CARB really isn’t to cause extraordinary hardship, but to start to steer the ‘automotive ship’ in the right/ethical direction for the good of the American citizen, and to end the collusion that exists to not provide the lower margin, more environmentally friendly disruptive tech, over the ‘tried and true’ petrol burners.

                3. DonC says:

                  I think your “no OEM will sell against a Model S because they don’t want to cannibalize their ICE sales” is wrong. The issue is not so much ICE offerings as it is China. For example, Cadillac doesn’t compete well in the high end luxury sedan market. Without a competitive produce, why hasn’t it come out a Model S competitor? The reason is that it sees China as the primary market for luxury sedan sales, and China doesn’t have the electric infrastructure needed to support such a product. As a result, we see the CT6 hybrid which is actually less expensive than the standard CT6 (once you consider the options included with the hybrid and the subsidies).

                  You also see the issue when you look at Tesla. Tesla sells well in the US primarily because of California. It does OK in Europe. And it sucks air in China. For a global car company this is not a recipe for success.

                  China is actually an interesting case because it is moving to impose stringent CO2 restrictions but doesn’t have the infrastructure to support electric charging on a grand scale. As a consequence the best approach for car companies is PHEV or EREVs.

                  I also think you have a point but are generally wrong on how simple it is to make a BEV as well as how impossible it would be to differentiate them, but that interesting discussion is worth its own thread.

                  1. Mark C says:

                    Don, if I understand what I read about China correctly, an auto manufacturer that wants to benefit from lower import duty / government subsidies, etc has to partner with Chinese companies and build thier product in China. Some do, some build a China specific EV, and some don’t want the Chinese to have the free benefit of the work it took to design and build an amazing vehicle.

                4. ClarksonCote says:

                  Jay, I don’t know if I agree that BEV’s are just a commodity with low margin.

                  The battery and the electric motors/drivetrain both have a lot of potential variation. Take the Volt and its impressive thermal management system versus the Leaf being only air cooled. That, along with motors and torque and efficiency, etc. should be enough to separate BEVs and make some stand out.

                  It doesn’t seem any different to me than today’s ICE vehicles in that regard. Does the gas tank and engine really make them stand out? Or is it more the performance that an engine offers, along with all the other comforts, reliability, styling, etc.

                  I would think that a BEV is no different in this regard, or at least does not have to be, if the automakers embrace the evolution of vehicles rather than trying to stifle it.

                  The music industry would certainly be in a different place today if they hadn’t fought so hard against digital media, for example.

                  Companies in any industry need to innovate, or risk being left behind.

        8. Chris O says:

          Great info! Definitely a good idea to write an article with projections of the compliance needs of some of the major car manufacturers from 2018 onward.

          It would help a lot to understand the policies of these carmakers if one has a more clear idea of the quantities involved.

        9. DonC says:

          As far as hitting the number on the head in each state, I was under the impression that, in order to ameliorate this task, the Eastern states are in a group and credits can travel within this group post 2018 MY.

          1. Not true.

            Starting in Model Year 2018, the ZEVs must be sold in the required number in ALL the CARB-ZEV states (10 of them at the moment).

            Only hydrogen cars are exempt. They can (and will) be sold in California only, with some token efforts in other CARB-ZEV states if those states provide tax payer funded hydrogen refueling stations.

        10. Nix says:

          Jay, does the ability to use PHEV credits for 50% of their ZEV credits go away?

          Because unless I’m mistaken and something has changed, their ZEV credits

          For example, GM gets 2.39 ZEV credits per Volt, which they can use for up to 50% of their

          The development of a BEVx could also satisfy up to 50% of there ZEV credits


          The other factor is that ZEV credits can be sold and traded. So Ford can still build entirely PHEV’s, as long as they can sell the to a couple of companies who can use those PHEV or BEVx credits towards their mandate. And then Ford can turn around and take that money they got from selling ZEV credits from PHEV’s, and buy pure BEV credits from Tesla.

          Tesla has publicly complained that their BEV credits are only worth around half of that $5000 dollar price. So there is little chance of Ford having to pay $5,000 per ZEV credit they fail to earn with pure EV’s.


          Finally, while it sounds crazy to earn those ZEV credits selling a Ford Focus electrics, nothing is stopping Ford from actually developing a Bolt competitor, and a Tesla competitor, or maybe a BEV light service truck for fleet sales, or… The options are limitless. That’s why they got $5.9 Billion dollars from the DOE ATVM program. To develop exactly cars like that.

          Instead of whining and crying, I expect them to actually TRY and build BEV’s. And more than just 1 short range BEV that has very little market differentiation from all the other short range BEV’s in the same market.

          1. Jay Cole says:

            PHEV credits to count for something, there is a higher threshold to be met now than the .79 of a %…but that .79% of sales is the minimum number of credits generated ONLY by ZEV (zero emission BEV/FCEV) sales.

            Totally agree Ford can and will build a 200 mile BEV, they all will…and they all pretty much have one designed, planned and ready to go. The 2018 onward numbers aren’t a secret, and they know they can’t be defeated anytime soon.

            Horse-trading credits is ok for right now (while it is permitted), and there is some excess in the system for sure, but without going “mainstream” and bastardizing high margin ICE vehicles, there will be no supply/thin supply in 2 years time. Really only Nissan is awash with future-proof credits, and Tesla obviously has an large ongoing supply that they themselves don’t require (they have been selling about ~$3,100 a pop over last year).

            Again, you know its “getting real” when the 250 mile mainstream/affordable SUV/truck is on the stand from a major OEM

            1. Nix says:

              Part of the equation that CARB used when they created their targets, was to analyze the GREET data on the cost of various BEV and PHEV technologies, and what cost they would be over time.

              The GREET data has always shown that as EV’s and PHEV’s grow in sales, that prices would drop significantly. Not just for battery cells and packs, controllers and motors, which are a large part of the added expense. But also technologies for headlights and HVAC systems that are more efficient, better glass, even better paint, etc.

              So when we start talking about 2020+ mandates, we can’t simply pull forward $35K prices for current PHEV’s and EV’s as if the GREET models don’t exist, and as if we won’t see the price differential between EV’s and gas cars tighten.

              The GREET models all show that gas/ICE car prices will increase as they require more technology to meet increasingly tight standards, while EV and PHEV prices will go down.

              I disagree that by 2020 or 2025 that car companies will still be selling EV’s and PHEV’s at the current 2016 price premiums by the time the steepest EV mandates come into effect.

              I personally think that Ford can meet both the CAFE and CARB mandates just fine through the use of ZEV credit trades, PHEV’s, improvements to their gas fleet (more aluminum and more ecoboosts), and the development of new EV’s besides just the Focus EV. But I don’t base that on just my opinion as an EV advocate. I base that on the GREET models and CARB’s analysis of that GREET data.

              Thanks again for your posts.

              1. Jay Cole says:

                No problem,

                You might be able to tell, but this is a subject near to my heart, and breaks the monotony of daily news cycle.

                Probably my fault for using the same $35k price-point/not explaining it very clearing, but I was accounting for the advancements/lowering of costs in the BEV segment.

                The $35k I was referencing wasn’t a 2017 200 mile Bolt EV in 2025, but rather I was applying those same forces (you adeptly mentioned) as applied to larger vehicle classes.

                Here is the quote again (with my disclaimer to put context on it):

                “So can Ford easily sell ~100,000 EVs in 2025, or GM, or Toyota? Sure, the tech is right there in front of them already today.

                The issue (in 2025) is that these will also need to be mid-size cars, utility vehicles, and the sort to sell in volume against other major offerings, and they will still have a premium price-point – $35,000+”

                …I tend to just run-on in the comments, and not take the proper care to check I am expressing myself clearly – I just blurt out thoughts in my mind quickly to ‘paper’ and hit comment, lol

                1. Josh Bryant says:

                  The lack of editing is what makes comments great! 🙂

    4. John volt no 4 says:

      There being overly frugal with there private equity toward EV commitment, but I’m not really why that is , thier Atkinson engine patients use 40 percent leads parts , but they do not have a handle in lithium batteries or many they have supply issues, again more questions. But with gas prices edging up , people are buying there cars , especially out west in big numbers, the gienie out of the bolttle. The fusion phev a really nice car spacious. A few more inches in the frame and adding a bigger lithium batteries will go along way of improving EMPG, the CAFE standards want matter and Ford is really doing there buyers and investors a dis service, what a shame , I’d hate to see a another Delorion ignorant modern day quote I heard in the press, the Ford engineers are very good , don’t let the ignorent owners run a great company , push for energie improvments, it’s short term pain but long term benifits, people have better use of many then going to a gas station!

    5. 2nd EV start up says:

      Mr.Ford, I would walk down the hallway and throw Mr.Fields ass out to the corner of Southfield & Rotunda:
      YTD sales of Volt= 21k
      YTD sales of Energi Fusion + C MAX=18k

      When “Humpty Trumpty’s Texas oil buddies jack up the price of oil to $100/b AGAIN….Ford will be stuck with big truck gas guzzlers AGAIN because Mr. Fields “marketing” said to no to EV’s.

      Nissan and the rest of us EV guys will be positioned well for this shift.

      You can hire me as your “marketing” guy for 75% less than your current idiot.

      1. TX NRG says:

        The Chevy Volt hasn’t outsold the Energis since CY2013, and it is behind again this year even with the Gen 2 Volt.

        YTD Volt sales: 21,048
        YTD NRG sales: 21,507

          1. TX NRG says:

            They are not wrong; that is exactly where I pulled this year’s YTD numbers from. And here are the calendar year totals from the past 2 years taken from the Scorecard linked in the yellow tab at the top of this site. Volt needs to make up a deficit of 459 in December vs the Energis or it will be 3 years in a row.

            2016 YTD Volt sales: 21,048
            2016 YTD NRG sales: 21,507

            2015 CY Volt sales: 15,393
            2015 CY NRG sales: 17,341

            2014 CY Volt sales: 18,805
            2014 CY NRG sales: 19,983

            1. 2nd EV start up says:

              The chart shows:
              2016 YTD Volt= 21,048
              2016 YTD Fusioni= 13,022
              2016 YTD C-Maxi= 5,947
              2016 Focus= 734

              It takes a total of 3 FORD EV’s=19,703 to sell 1 Chevy Volt 21,048 Fields should be fired for “marketing” three different EV.

              New Euro Nissan Leaf will be getting ~200 mile charge and Ford’s pathetic 21 miles is a Joke.

              Why are you looking back into 2014…2013 #’s ???


              1. TX NRG says:

                I see where you’ve gone wrong. You are quoting October YTD numbers, not the most recent from November that you linked to. Maybe try clearing your browser cache and reloading the page you linked to. Then you should see 2016 YTD Energis= Fusion 14,839 + C-Max 6,668=21,507 which is 459 more than 2016 YTD for the Volt.

                Despite the Energis having a pathetic 21 miles AER (when new and not degraded due to lack of cooling) and despite being in their 5th model year with the same powertrain, they are still outselling the highly publicized and anticipated Gen 2 Volt for this year, just like they did last year and the year before that. It looks like Chevy Volt’s Marketing team needs more improvement than Ford’s. They’re being outsold by a plug-in model that most people never heard of and most don’t know Ford even offers, outside of EV enthusiasts like ourselves.

  2. JyKiaNiro says:

    General Motors, Ford, BMW, Mercedes, VW, Mazda, Volvo, Fiat, Jaguar, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Toyota

    list of companies that will not see my dollar.

    1. Rebel44 says:

      I am also planning to vote with my wallet.

      Car makers hostile to EVs wont even be considered next time I am buying a car.

    2. Mikael says:

      You forgot Kia in that list.

      1. Rich says:

        I assume your comment was sarcasm. For those that don’t know –
        Kia and Hyundai are not part of the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers.

      2. JyKiaNiro says:

        Kia is not on the list. I will get rid of my Chevy Volt within the next 4 months.

    3. Daniel Watkins says:

      Surprised Subaru wasn’t in that list.. Since they have yet to make any sort of real hybrid or electric production car. the Crosstrek mild hybrid doesn’t count.

    4. William says:

      No Honda on your list, well OK then.

    5. Spider-Dan says:

      Let’s play Devil’s Advocate for a moment.

      Suppose BMW is happy with their level of investment in EV tech and doesn’t really agree with the letter sent by this manufacturer association. Should they withdraw entirely from the AFAM over this one issue?

      When you look at the list of AFAM automakers, there are some companies (GM, BMW, Mitsubishi) that have made a rather significant investment in early EV proliferation, and there are a lot of others (Volvo, Mazda, FCA, Jaguar, etc) that have done damn near nothing. So which position should the AFAM support?

      1. JyKiaNiro says:

        Hell yes they should withdraw. What is the purpose of AFAM?

      2. Nix says:

        This is normal and happens all the time. Not all car makers agree with every position of their lobbying groups they belong to.

        The traditional answer has been two fold:

        1) If the rest of the car makers want to have their position known, they can have their names listed by the lobbyists as backing the measure, and those who do not can have their names left off.

        2) If the car maker wants their position publicly known that they do not agree with the lobbyists, they can politely issue a press release saying they do not join the lobbyist group in their efforts do to XXXXX.

        This sort of thing happens all the time with trade associations. Leaving the association is really only a last resort.

  3. Nick says:

    It’s really silly this large companies that this stance because when oil prices rise and they will in time people will want fuel efficiency again. By the time Ford or any other US company gets there the EVs of Tesla and other Europe or Japan Companies will be so far ahead the US companies will fail. They will lost customers, jobs, and so on. I self destruct mode if you will.

    1. Michael Will says:

      +1 ford tries so hard to yield to tesla, byd, volkswagen, Mercedes… Tesla is americas last hope to not completely lose the race for new technology adoption.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Nick said:

      “By the time Ford or any other US company gets there the EVs of Tesla and other Europe or Japan Companies will be so far ahead the US companies will fail.”


      Disruptive tech revolutions always cause some market leaders with the old tech to fail. (The digital camera revolution, and Eastman Kodak, being a recent perfect example.)

      Ten years from now, we may be able to point to this moment as the crucial dividing line between those auto makers which will survive the EV revolution, and those which won’t. Certainly those auto makers which are forward-looking and do not resist the move to higher fuel efficiency and plug-in EVs, the way Ford is resisting, are far more likely to still be in business 20 years from now.

    3. przemo_li says:


      When prices will rise again people will stick to electric SUVs. There is no realistic quick uptake in oil prices on the horizon (only slower rise).

      So when oil price will start to matter again, people will know that they do not have to switch from SUVs back to sedans/hatchback, because there will be those electric SUVs.

      If You take that as basis for Your statement, then Yes, You are correct that those without electrified SUVs will have hard time competing.

  4. Nix says:

    F – Ford

    1. georgeS says:

      CARB is the only thing that matters. It’s true, I believe it. The defeat of this federal reg- CAFE- is just a paper victory for the big 3. They still have to sell in California where, as far as we know, CARB sets the standards.

      1. Nix says:

        george, the problem is that the entire CARB ZEV program only exists because California applied for a waiver from the EPA in order to create that program.

        Originally, this waiver was denied under Bush’s EPA. The decision to deny California’s waiver was made by Bush’s appointed head of the EPA, against the recommendations of the career EPA staff. This decision to deny the waiver was heavily lobbied by Ford and the rest of the car makers. California had to sue in order to get the EPA to approve their waiver.

        There is already talk about the next EPA head working to block the CARB ZEV program under the guise of “harmonizing” standards. The way it would work would be that the EPA would set a national ZEV standard. Gee, doesn’t that sound like it would be a good thing? Well, the devil is in the details. Because what it would do would be to instantly nullify the CARB ZEV program, and replace it with a program that would have a much lower mandate than future CARB ZEV program requirements.

        More aggressive proposed actions include simply shuttering the entire EPA. Although none of the politicians who have repeatedly talked about that can explain what that would actually mean.

        Another option is for the issue to be re-litigated once the next administration packs the courts. The automotive industry could sue under some other legal theory not previously argued in court. And no matter how lame the argument may be, the courts could overturn the previous ruling that forced the EPA to issue the waiver. If that happens, again CARB ZEV program is gone.

        Finally, it simply takes a single line included in any piece of legislation to simply revoke California’s ability to set their own emissions standards. Congress and the incoming President could simply kill the entire ability for CARB to set their own emissions standards. This would be sold as “reducing regulations to help American car makers compete. Get out of their way so they can succeed, and let the free market fix emissions. A patchwork of emissions laws are killing US car makers.”

        If we stand by while they gut CAFE, they will just continue gutting. And they won’t stop there. They will then start with passing punitive laws to punish people who have already bought EV’s and Solar. They will claim these laws are to “level the playing field”, but they will tilt the playing field to the advantage of gas cars, which already benefit from massive fuel subsidies and tax cuts to the oil industry.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Well said, Nix. I think those who dismiss the possibility that the CARB standards may be tossed out the window under the Trumpian administration, don’t understand how easily and quickly this could be accomplished.

          I think it’s a very real possibility, and I won’t be at all surprised if it happens.

        2. All good points. The best news is that emission regulations can just as easily be reversed after Trumpistan.

          The auto manufacturers would be foolish to pull the plug on ZEVs even if the requirement went away, because it won’t stay away.

          In addition, China and Quebec, Canada have adopted versions of CARB-ZEV rules, and Europe could have something like that in the future.

          So, yes, GM and Ford won’t build anything that they don’t have to, but they are going to be hounded about EVs regularly.

          1. Stan1 says:

            It is insanity to think that holding thing back helps the automakers. They literally piss away any chance they have of a future.

  5. Yogurt says:

    I find it amazing that people running billion dollar companies at times dont known when to say no comment or say nothing at all…

    Some US companies make it real easy to want to buy foriegn cars or a Tesla…

  6. Yogurt says:

    The worst part of all is worldwide they will have no choice but to produce EVs and crank up MPGs…

    Paris, Madrid, Mexico City, and Athens just pleged to oulaw diesels by 2025 and it will only get worse for ICE cars of all kinds…

    1. georgeS says:

      you mean the best part.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Yogurt said:

      “The worst part of all is worldwide they will have no choice but to produce EVs and crank up MPGs…”

      Thank goodness for the “worst part”! 😉

      We’re already seeing European and Japanese auto makers making different versions of their cars to sell in the U.S.; versions with bigger engines and, in some cases, with longer bodies.

      We may see a similar thing with legacy U.S. auto makers, perhaps offering a more fuel-efficient version in cars exported to Europe and China, while relaxing fuel efficiency on cars marketed here in the USA, so the latter can be made more cheaply.

  7. James says:

    Me to CEO Mark Fields:



    The Pacifica Hybrid ( with plug ) has caught my eye and captured my imagination. Sure I wish it had a few more kwhs in it’s battery pack – but it’s versatility for my needs is pretty close to spot-on!

    Note: I have never bought a new car from Ford nor Chrysler. I bought Toyotas for years. Chevrolet won me over with the Volt. This is the way you steal loyal customers from the grips of other brands.

    NPNS ( No Plug No Sale! )


    1. WadeTyhon says:

      As a huge contrast to Mr Fields…

      GM CEO Mary Barra has made previous donations to candidates in Michigan who support Electric Vehicle and alternative energy legislation. She was also a potential pick for Clinton’s VP.

      She also was there on stage to personally introduce the 2nd gen Volt, and the Bolt EV (as both a concept and the finalized version). And while she is no Elon Musk… she has some real clean energy credibility.

      Since she took over as CEO, GM has laid out long term plans to convert all their energy usage to renewable. In the Arlington, TX plant near D-FW, GM just last month finalized a deal to power it entirely by wind energy by 2018. Several other GM manufacturing plants have already begun ramping up their renewable energy usage.

      Despite all of this increased investment in green energy and EVs, GMs profits and market share are up this year while Ford’s profits dropped.

      Interestingly, Barra was asked to be part of Trumps economic advisory panel along with a number of other well known CEOs.

      Since the incoming administration will care mostly about a different kind of “green”, I am hoping that she will provide a strong business case for continued federal / private investment in renewable energy and EVs.

    2. flmark says:

      I’d like to know just how many people this idiot polled to say that no one wants EVs…a true story…

      …a few weeks back, I drove my Tesla Model X to the deer processing place after bagging a deer while out deer hunting…in my Model X. While I was standing there discussing my order with the meat cutter, a fellow came in and stood close enough that I thought he might work there. It turns out he didn’t. When there was a break in the conversation, the fellow asked if the Tesla was mine. I told him yes. He smiled, and stuck out his hand and said, ‘I just want to shake your hand.’

      A few minutes of conversation ensued about supercharging, range, etc. It was all positive.

      The point of this story is that there are people who genuinely WANT to change the status quo…they just don’t have a whole lot of choices on how to do so. Going deer hunting in an electric vehicle is not something you experience…EVER…so this guy’s paradigm was pleasantly blown out of the water

      …I might expect him to have an argument for Ford’s comment that no one WANTS to drive an electric vehicle.

      Simply moronic.

      1. Mister G says:

        Great story, I agree stereotypes keep us from talking and listening to each other.

  8. super390 says:

    “it short-circuited a data-driven development of regulations…”

    His further comments show the only data he’s interested in is sales data. The point of regulation is to put national priorities above the next quarter’s sales. So it would be more logical for him to say there should be no regulation at all.

    Actual science-driven regulation is about to be swept away by the next Congress, by removing input from technical personnel in government agencies. Regulation will become strictly an ideological act.

  9. Nix says:

    That’s funny, that’s not what Ford was saying when it was applying for their $5.9 Billion dollar gov’t loan through the Dept. of Energy ATVM program. Then they were saying how along with other programs, that all they needed to make pure EV’s and PHEV’s that customers wanted was a few Billion dollars from the gov’t.

    Funny how that works, when they want money they talk big. But when it comes to them being accountable for the money they got, they don’t want to actually be held accountable for the cars THEY built with gov’t funding being desirable to mass consumers.

  10. James says:

    It’s hard for ICEmakers to claim: “Hey- people just don’t want these cars!” when Tesla got nearly 400,000 pre-orders in about one day with $1000 down. This for a $42,000 car they won’t see for two years+ !!!!

    Yeah, Ford ….Nobody want’s em! L 🙁 L

    1. Victor says:

      +1 James

      1. Delta says:


        Elon has my + $1000 – just because I want him to get this done.

  11. David Murray says:

    It’s still kind of hard to blame them. They sell more plug-in cars than GM, despite the fact GM probably invested a lot more money in Volt development. But I do suspect a PHEV pickup would actually sell really well.

    1. Rich says:

      It’s not hard at all. I hold Ford CEO Mark Fields completely accountable.

      1. Becker says:

        Accountable for what? Not doing what you want? Being fiscally responsible to his company?

        When will any of you be happy? When cars drive themselves and there are no jobs in America?

        This utopian fantasy land is annoying. “It’s this way or no way.”

        1. Rich says:

          What a twisted comment.
          What does holding the CEO of FORD accountable for his company meeting EPA regulations have ANYTHING to do with self driving cars or jobs in America? Doesn’t Tesla manufacture in the USA?
          You’re response is cliche manipulation tactics.

        2. Priusmaniac says:

          The self driving car story is still something else completely separated from electric vehicles. Some want that step too some do not. It is a disruption that is more debatable because it goes straight towards a competition between AI and humans. In the long run AI rise bring the question of what will be the place of humans in a world where machines can do anything better than him. Will we be like plants taken care off in a greenhouse.

          That’s not how I see the meaning of being human, hopefully we will still be able to interact with the AI but if it doesn’t listen we will be sitting biologics that will have created their own master. Now self driving cars AI is not yet the real AI but it will already disrupt and obviously pose the same questions than the ones we will pose when the real one comes along. Note that we are also likely to make an encounter with an alien origin AI so our action doesn’t really change the fundamental of those questions coming on us, that we make our own or not. In a sense no alien AI encountered yet is the real question. It can have different explanations very similar to those to the Fermi paradox although even harder because non biologic AI should have spread even more easily. It also kind of could be the best proof we are in a simulation.

          1. Joan says:

            Thx for enlarging my horizon.

    2. georgeS says:

      “But I do suspect a PHEV pickup would actually sell really well.”

      I’m not sure, it depends on how much it costs, look at the 2 mode fiasco from GM.

  12. ffbj says:

    A leopard cannot change it’s spots.

    1. Becker says:

      That took some thought.

  13. Bill Howland says:

    I would hope Trump – during his “ONgoing-Discussion” with Mr. Fields – reminds him that his opinion will be far easier to hear if he agrees to have more manufacture in the States.

    Since Wealth is created on the Factory Floor, it would be helpful from the US’s point of view to have such creation happen inside the US, and provide livelihood for thousands.

    Perhaps Field should follow Diamler’s lead, and start putting some batteries – even if only 30 mile PHEV’s, into their popular F-150.

    The accounting departments of large Fleet purchaseers will purchase these vehicles SOLELY on the reduced life-cycle cost of the vehicles – namely much less maintenance and fuel cost – and much greater longevity.

    Of course, as mentioned, if Fuel Costs start rising, then Everyone will be clamoring for practical electrically propelled truck models. Wouldn’t bother me at all if Chrysler or GM beat them to it.

    1. Kdawg says:

      I think once batteries are “in fashion”, then everyone will stick them in their vehicles. We’re just not there yet. Currently you get labelled a “greenie” or “geek” if you drive a plug-in. Only exception is Tesla, but then they call you other names. We need to change the public’s mindset.

      1. Totally agree. When hybrid drivetrains are pitched like a turbocharging or “supercharging” (blowers) every muscle car and truck driver out there will want one.

        Smith, EDI & Via beed to get together and spinsor a stump pulling competition.

      2. Nix says:

        Heck, you don’t even have to buy a Tesla yet, and before you even buy one you will be labeled a “fanboy” and you will be painted as a member of a Musk cult.

        Even if like me, you support nearly every EV that every single company builds.

        Let’s be clear, there IS a campaign against EV’s/PHEV’s, and this is all part of their line of attack. We can all choose to either buy into those lines of attack and normalize their lines of attack and use them ourselves, or we can refuse to play their game.

    2. 2nd EV start up says:

      Mr. Howland,
      I hope your model of creating “wealth on the factory floor” pertains to EV’s…wind…solar and other renewables.

      Because the old rust belt model of 1920’s thru 1970’s is dead.

  14. bro1999 says:

    Screw Ford.

    1. Delta says:

      Succinct conclusion… Brilliantly rendered…

  15. Lad says:

    The AAM(Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the lobbying group for the car makers)has already send their request to remove the mandates to Trump and the Republicans.

    All those wishing to change their vote…bend over, it’s too late.

  16. kubel says:

    I wish Ford the best. As much as politicians and environmental groups want to take credit for it, gas is dying.

    Let electric cars become what people want, not what government mandates.

  17. John says:

    Crazy thought here…..maybe they’d sell a few more of them if the dealer’s actually wanted to…..instead of talking people out of them…

  18. Jake Brake says:

    I work at a company with around 275ppl, 25% of them have plug in vehicles. Demand isnt there?

    1. TX NRG says:

      Not sufficient demand. Despite your example, and 2 of the 3 cars in my driveway being plug-ins, the fact remains that we are 6 years into this EV evolution with close to 30 EV models on sale and are just now breaking through 1% of new car sales market share.

      The EV ROI hasn’t moved the needle much yet but there’s a good case to be made that the incumbent manufacturers and dealers didn’t want it to.

    2. cmg186 says:

      I own two plug-in vehicles, and plan on buying two new replacement plug-in vehicles this coming year, and feel that EVs are undoubtedly the future.

      Having said that, what a silly argument you pose. I work at a company of ~7000, and have seen ONE plug-in vehicle that wasn”t my own.

      Plug-ins represent less than 1% of vehicle sales, and contrary to what you believe, YES, demand is NOT there. The problem being of course, that truly desirable plug-in vehicles at affordable (mass market) prices just aren’t available.

      If Mark Fields works on building a compelling plug-in for an affordable price, demand will be there in 2022-2025. Less complaining, more planning Mr. Fields.

      (Looks like TX NRG beat me to it).

      1. DonC says:

        The demand is obviously geographic. Where I am everyone and their brother has a Model S or Model X (more of the former than the latter). Plenty of Volts and also some Leafs. (Can’t tell about the cars which share a bodystyle with the ICE version).

        1. cmg186 says:

          Yes, precisely why his example is silly, and the 1% figure is relevant. As I am sure there are areas with many more plug-ins than my own, I can be equally sure there are areas with less.

  19. William says:

    Selling my Ford Truck on this news. Oh well, I should have seen it coming. So this is where it starts.

  20. Anon says:

    It’s been said already, but it’s worth saying again:

    VOTE WITH YOUR W A L L E T when you buy your next vehicle.

    It’s the only thing the Legacy Automakers truly understand. And if enough of us STOP BUYING THEIR FILTHY ICE / HYBRID vehicles, maybe they’ll get the message.

    1. Rich says:

      +1 – vote with your wallet.
      Consumers are the true job creators. Corporations merely do what they’re told by consumers or they die.
      If enough consumers refuse to buy another Ford, Mark Fields will fall in line or will be unemployed. Either way, the outcome is all good.

  21. Mike says:

    Good thing I traded in my Milan Hybrid last week for a new Volt. I never set foot in a GM dealership until the Volt came out. Now I have two Volts (2012 and a 2017).

    Ford is now dead to me. RIP.

  22. TM says:

    What are the odds that neither Ford nor GM go bankrupt in the next 9 yrs (2025)?

    1. Hauer says:

      except that they will be bailed out (again in case of GM).

  23. Hauer says:

    Maybe Ford is in a bad position right now. But they brought that upon themselves.
    No tears to shed.

  24. Hauer says:

    And BTW I find that they early review and lock in is necessary, is the only way “the other side” needs to be treated.
    Sad but true.
    And if it works out, the planet has to thank them.

    Thanks from Austria
    (Where the only American cars you can see on the roads are Teslas.)

  25. Koenigsegg says:

    Ford’s EV’s/plug in’s suck so who cares

    1. JayTee says:

      If only they offered a great BEV. They’d sell like 4,000 more cars per month at a negative profit.

  26. Just_Chris says:

    I live in Australia, the car companies basically got what ever they wanted, massive subsidies, strict import rules that close the market and almost no emissions standards. Look what happened here, the factories became inefficient and uncompetitive, the market, and everyone who worked in it, were totally unprepared for any competition and, most difficult to combat, the Australian specific products became outdated dinosaurs. The car industry will be gone here by 2018. If Ford win this fight they’ll be handing their own arse to East Asian manufacturers on a plate. The Chinese and Indians are now manufacturing cars, they can’t enter the US market easily because of the umpteen different safety, emissions and sales regulations. If you take those out you win short term but in 2025 if there is a Chinese pickup born and raised in an economy that force and accelerate innovation what will happen to Ford then? The CEO today will be sunning himself in a tax haven the rest will be history.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Thanks for that cautionary tale, Just_Chris.

      Yeah, the American auto makers fighting against the inevitability of the EV revolution are in very real danger of making their products non-competitive on the world market, just as they did back in the ’60s and ’70s when they were using planned obsolescence to force people to buy cars every few years, and as a result the average quality became so bad that the Japanese were able to come in and steal a large part of the American auto market within just a few years in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

      “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

  27. Priusmaniac says:

    The problem for the OEM is that there are die hard customers that want long range BEV and that some companies like Tesla are actually starting to provide them. In other words there is a breach in the dam and the water rushing through it won’t stop making it wider. Very soon the OEM will have to push their own BEV or at least Glider+battery+(Rex) or start to take refuge in the niche of die hard ICE customers by proposing standard vehicles with protruding engines like in the sixties to attract that specific public.
    When battery prices plummet and cities become more restrictive on emissions, OEM that don’t make any choice with find themselves with just dwindling sales and bankruptcy as outcome.
    The ones that do go to BEV or Glider+battery+(Rex) will never the less be able to differentiate by bringing more in charging speed, in automatic charging, and in other specific systems. After all that is already similar to what present cars do because they are kind of Glider+standard ICE now, especially with ICE shared among different OEM for different models.

  28. Malcolm Scott says:

    Time to divest from Ford and any other business with like minded ignorance of the man made catastrophe we are bringing upon ourselves.

    And we Australians are almost the worst peoples on the planet for this outcome. I’m not the pot calling the kettle black on this one.

    Rot in a hot hell those sorts of bastards trying to unfairly profit by finding a business niche to obviscate their responsibilities to take urgent action on climate change, as scientists are telling us, and now not later as economists are saying who study this.

    I’m very fortunate to have very close by institutions that have many of the best atmospheric, climate and ocean scientists who not only contribute to the global body of knowledge, but they also come into the community and present first hand their evidence and analysis.

    I live in a fairly low part of world and enjoy a great coastal lifestyle. Why should a Ford Board, CEO and shareholders plunder at the expense of my net wealth and well being? Bloody criminal class they are. Their heads should be on traitors gate.

    But we can’t even look after our own magnificent Great Barrier Reef, which is now essentially buggered (2/3 dead) in near shore northern parts. 10,000 hectares of mangroves have died in the Cape of Carpentaria, kelp farms are being destroyed off Western Australia, and old growth peat forests burned as never ever before in Tasmania.

    Tomorrow the CEO of Adani India is meeting our Prime Minister in Melbourne. The expectation is the Australian Government will be providing a loan of $1B to facilitate the Adani Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland. This mine will become one of the world’s largest coal mines. It will produce 200 m tons of CO2e at the mine and 130 m tons each year from the burned coal in India. Just by itself it will use 0.6% of the burnable carbon reserves for <+2 deg, and of course we expect that +2 deg will be a catastrophe. It will all be shipped through the Great Barrier Reef where I think 1/3 of all the worlds marine life species exist.

    At the G20 Conference a couple of years ago, President Obama said he hoped that his children will have the opportunity to see our Great Barrier Reef (if it last that long).

    Given what's happening in the world there's plenty to vent about over the next few years. Thank you for letting me vent. I just can't handle what is going on in business and politics.

    1. Dan Hue says:

      Very well said Malcolm.

      It is sad to see greed, fear and stupidity control the world the way it does. Anthropogenic climate change is really testing humanity’s capacity to solve an existential crisis of planetary scope. This is uncharted territory for us in history, and so far, we are failing spectacularly.

    2. Vexar says:

      I may never live to see the Great Barrier Reef, but it means a lot to me to know it is out there. The best thing Australia can do to fight this environmental brinkmanship is have an environmental policy on zero emissions vehicles. Be active in your nation’s politics and push for policies like what several nations in Europe are doing, China, and California. Expecting auto manufacturers to show in-country sales figures of 2% zero emissions or they lose their ability to sell vehicles in Australia is a good start. Ramp that up a few percent per annum, and you’ll see Ford either bail on the market or keep the slimiest lawyers and lobbyists of Australia well-employed.

    3. 2nd EV start up says:

      Mr. Scott, well said.

      Here in Michigan a lot of Big 3 & Union Executives & have homes up in Harbor Springs, TC and Gaylord.

      They just don’t get it when they pull up to Boyne Mt. and see no snow on slopes to ski. Or no snow to snowmobile/Ice Fish over in Gaylord.

      Having no snow= no jobs= higher taxes cover unemployment= higher health care…ect

  29. Hugh says:

    Usually op/ed pieces will opine that electric cars make little difference in the price of gas. OPEC has stated this opinion and the big car manufactures have stated this view.

    This AM I read a piece that put electric cars in a different light:

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Much as I’d like to think that the EV market is reducing the demand for oil, the truth is that indeed it’s having very little impact. The EV market is only about 1% of the international market share for new cars. A much bigger impact on demand is how China and the EU are rapidly increasing requirements for fuel efficiency and/or zero-emission vehicles. That was recently also an important factor in the American auto market, but with the Trumpians taking over, it’s very questionable that trend will continue over the next few years.

  30. If Ford dealers didn’t hide their electric vehicles on the back of the lot, and Ford Motor actually advertised the cars, there would be plenty of demand – the Focus Electric is a great little car, built on one of the worlds most popular body/chassis. The only downsides to the vehicle have now been remedied for 2017 – better range and DC Quick Charge.

    Ford is playing the “slow roll” game and pretending that will work long term. Meanwhile Tesla inspires and books 400k orders.

    When Tesla builds a truck, Ford is going to have to get religion or get their lunch eaten.

    1. Vexar says:

      That’s the blue sky, right there. If anyone can figure out how to build a compelling all-electric pickup truck that has all the features correct, it will seize market share rapidly. My suspicion is that the off-roader market, as indicated by the Nikola Zero, is going to be niche. The work-horse, tradesman and farm truck is one major category, and the weekender is another. The weekender is arguably met somewhat by the Tesla Model X, but not entirely, due to its towing upper limit and the fact that it is principally a passenger vehicle.

      If Tesla were to make a pick-up truck, it would need to be significantly larger than the Model X. My suspicion is that it comes down to the battery price and density, yet again. Although I think a 100kWh battery is impressive, I think 125 kWh is a fair minimum, and that is 4 years out by Tesla’s battery growth rate. Or 3. Either way, I expect another vehicle announcement from Tesla in 2017.

  31. DonC says:

    Not only is CAFE a done deal at the end of this month, fighting CARB seems like a lost cause — no chance CARB will back off. Moreover, it may not matter because CARB has now gone global, with its approach picked up in the EU and China. The Chinese are really serious about this because they see electrification as a means of allowing their auto industry into the global game. At some point you need to fire the lawyers and lobbyists and hire more engineers. No point in continuing a losing effort because all that gets you is being labelled as the bad guy, as Ford is in this case.

    While the combustion engine does give established manufacturers a leg up, it’s not decisive. You can see that with Tesla. Yes it’s selling vehicles but it’s burning huge amounts of cash with no sign of profitability anytime soon. Making cars is complex and expensive, and a simpler drive train helps but doesn’t fundamentally change the effort required.

    Moreover, the current cost edge for combustion engines is really based on current technology. The expected battery breakthrough has not materialized, but sooner or later that will happen. When it does the cost calculus will change dramatically.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “‘When the facts change, I change my mind,’ John Maynard Keynes once observed in a debate. ‘What do you do, sir?’ Why, sir, they take no notice of changed facts and so are untroubled by such questions.” — Rex Murphy

      Serial Tesla bashers are untroubled by facts, and so never change their claims even when they are clearly and definitely refuted… such as Tesla recently demonstrating that it can show a net quarterly profit if it wants to, despite Tesla FUDsters telling us “Tesla is losing money on every car” and other nonsense.

      Tesla will be profitable every quarter once it stops spending money at a fast rate in order to grow the company quickly.

      1. DonC says:

        Yeah, Tesla manufactured a profit for one quarter by pulling ZEV credit sales forward and pushing development costs back. Big deal. Any company can generate a profit for a quarter, but few can, if necessary, be like Amazon and generate them quarter after quarter in a recession. If you were paying attention you would know that Musk said as much when he urged workers to cut costs in the third quarter because that would be the last chance to be profitable before “the Model 3 is in full production”. (2019? 2020?)

        The whole idea that “Tesla can make money when it stops developing new cars” is absurd. Apparently it has escaped your keen mind that car companies NEVER STOP DEVELOPING NEW PRODUCTS. Doesn’t happen. No way it can happen because all your existing product gets old and has to be refreshed. So when you finish one vehicle you have to move on to another. Are you claiming that Tesla’s development programs will stop with the Model 3?

        It apparently also escaped your keen mind that to some extent the comment, which is that it takes a ton of money and expertise to make cars, supported Tesla. If anyone can turn out a BEV which is just as good as any other BEV with off the shelf components, then Tesla has no viable business model and should declare bankruptcy immediately.

  32. Najeeb says:

    Looks like our c max energi is gonna get replaced by some other good ev soon.

  33. AlphaEdge says:

    I will never buy a Ford or a Volkswagen.

  34. Daniel says:

    I think he will go down as being on the wrong side of history.

  35. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Is anyone really surprised? Just look at what Ford offers in the way of EVs, at least in the North American market:

    Fusion Energi: A PHEV with an electric range of only 21 miles

    C-Max Energi: Another PHEV with an electric range of only 21 miles

    Ford Focus Electric: A BEV made by shoehorning an electric drive into its tiny Focus, taking up half the trunk with the battery pack; a car which Ford does not advertise, and produces only one at a time, only in response to a specific request from a customer. (Talk about a compliance car!)

    With this NIH (Not Invented Here) attitude, is it any wonder that Ford resents the government mandates for higher fuel efficiency and zero-emission vehicles?

    * * * * *

    This is exactly the sort of reaction I expected from some if not all legacy auto makers, in response to the Trumpian election victory. I have been surprised to see recent comments claiming that that legacy auto makers won’t push back against higher fuel efficiency standards because that’s what the market is moving toward anyway. I regard those remarks as rather naive, or at best hopeful rather than realistic.

    The market it moving toward higher fuel efficiency and/or zero-emission vehicles in Europe and China, but I think it’s safe to say the American market will not be moving that way so long as the Trumpians are in charge of the White House.

    I hope the EV revolution won’t actually move backwards in the U.S., but we must face the reality that it is at least going to slow significantly, if not stall for a few years.

    Here’s hoping very strongly that the Trumpians won’t be in charge for even four years, let alone eight!

    1. pjwood1 says:

      Americans aren’t moving toward efficiency. U. Mich publishes the declines. It’s not Trump. Trump just spreads the word, through Bannon, to shut comment sections down and moderate out comments that dissent from the desired narrative. That is how Breitbart worked, after Andrew Breitbart died and Bannon took over.

  36. speculawyer says:

    Well, stupid people are taking the Ford CEO statement and using it to bash EVs. A mathematically challenged person named Matthew DeBord said that the Ford CEO’s statement meant that “the market for those EVs has grown by a negligible 0.5%.”

    Wait what? That sounds wrong. It *IS* wrong. Going from 2.3% market share to 2.8% market share is not 0.5% growth, it is 22% growth! Basic math eludes Matthew DeBord.

    Is he being deceitful or just dumb? Could be either one since I’ve seen stupid errors in his other stories as well.

    Unfortunately Business Insider has removed their comments section and there seems to be no way to contact him other than Twitter.

  37. John says:

    These guys never really change. They didn’t want seat belts or safety glass or airbags or crumple zones back in the day either, if they could get away without those. Regulation forced these things on them and before long consumers saw the value and started demanding them. Now they’d never think of selling a car without these features and more.

    Visionary companies make products people haven’t yet realized they need. Visionary this guy is not.

  38. Rob Stark says:

    The California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB or ARB, is the “clean air agency” in the government of California. Established in 1967 when then-governor Ronald Reagan signed the Mulford-Carrell Act, combining the Bureau of Air Sanitation and the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board, CARB is a department within the cabinet-level California Environmental Protection Agency.

    One of CARB’s responsibilities is to define vehicle emissions standards. California is the only state permitted to issue emissions standards under the federal Clean Air Act, subject to a waiver from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Other states may choose to follow CARB or federal standards but may not set their own.

    CARB DOES NOT derive its authority from the Supreme Court.

  39. Jim Seko says:

    If I were an engineer working for Ford, I’d be embarrassed to hear my CEO saying, “We can’t do it, it’s too difficult” I’d be looking for a job at Tesla.

  40. Eric says:

    I was at Detroit Auto Show in Jan. ’16 when Bill Ford told a gaggle of reporters Ford “wasn’t going to cry about” the regulations. No, he said, they were going to take proactive steps to increase economy/mpg across the board. Fields’s “pressure on the business” line sure sounds like crying. BTW Ford’s 2015 profits were company’s best in history.