Ford has been investing heavily in electric trucks and vans but it is facing some early pushback from commercial customers that are a key audience for the automaker's new F-150 Lightning and E-Transit, a top executive told Reuters on Thursday.
The Lightning pickup and E-Transit van "are targeted at real people doing real work," said Ted Cannis, chief executive of Ford Pro, at the Reuters Events Automotive Summit.
However, some of those potential fleet buyers are taking a "wait and see" attitude, partly from a lack of experience with electric vehicles and partly from a lack of clarity on government policy and regulations around EVs.
Those are not insurmountable obstacles over the longer term, according to Cannis, who told Reuters:
With electric work trucks and vans, Cannis said, fleet customers can save money on fuel, maintenance and repairs, "but there is still a fear of the unknown" about EVs among both employees and managers.
In August, Ford doubled its production target for the Lightning because of strong early demand for the truck ahead of its 2022 launch. Ford is targeting annual production of more than 80,000 vehicles in 2024, up from its prior target of more than 40,000, sources told Reuters.