For a long time, range anxiety has been cited as the main reason car buyers aren't willing to make the switch to all-electric vehicles.
However, automakers and battery manufacturers have made significant advances in recent years to the point that current EVs provide decent range for the typical user.
That said, there are still significant hurdles the EV industry needs to overcome, and charging may be the most significant, according to Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley. Speaking on Fox Business' "Special Report" segment, the executive voiced his opinion that consumers are not committing to EVs because they have "charging anxiety."
"We're going into the mass consumers who have a lot of charging anxiety. They don't have range anxiety, they have charging anxiety," Farley said. His comments came in response to US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm's recent four-day, 600-mile EV road trip from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Memphis, Tennessee, that saw some staff members block a charger with a gas-powered car to "reserve" it for Granholm's car.
It's pretty obvious that the US charging infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired in the US both in terms of coverage and reliability, but there's a notable exception – Tesla's Supercharger network. Ford has acknowledged that earlier this year when it signed an agreement to adopt the EV maker's NACS charging port on its electric cars starting in 2025.
Charging challenges aside, Ford's head honcho said EVs are also at a disadvantage in the market today because of their higher prices compared to ICE alternatives. He suggested that consumers are "not willing to pay a premium" for EVs, despite the fact an increasing number of models are becoming available and prices have dropped from a year ago.
"Some customers who have the right duty cycle are really interested, but the price premium that we see a year ago is not there today," Farley explained.
Ford has yet to offer an affordable EV in the US, with its lowest-priced model being the Mustang Mach-E, which starts at $44,795 (including a $1,800 destination charge). Ford did announce plans to launch the Puma EV subcompact crossover in 2024 in Europe, but there's no indication that it will make it stateside.
General Motors covers the affordable end of the EV market better thanks to its Bolt EV and EUV that start under $30,000, but these models will be discontinued at the end of the year. Still, GM has pledged that the upcoming 2024 Equinox EV will start around $30,000 – there's even a petition aimed at holding General Motors to its promise.
GM has also suggested that the Ultium-powered next-generation Bolt will go below the $30,000 mark. Tesla has also announced plans to launch a small EV priced around $25,000.