Since its launch, many critics have met Ford's EV program with much criticism. Now, hundreds of dealerships that joined the program want out, Jalopnik reports.
Last December, Ford CEO Jim Farley said that nearly 2,000 dealers had joined what is called the Model e program. It required dealerships to invest thousands to millions of dollars to prepare their locations to sell EVs.
The program offers two tiers of EV certification. The first tier requires an investment of $500,000 and provides repair and maintenance and one public DC fast charger. It provides no EVs to show and no presence on Ford’s website.
The second tier, known as 'certified elite,' offers two public DC fast chargers, demo units, rapid replenishment, and being mentioned in Ford’s website. This tier is far more costly, however, with a price tag of around $1 million to $1.2 million.
1,659 dealers chose the certified elite tier, while another 261 went with the first tier, making 1,920 in the program.
The program was met with some opposition from dealer associations, with some accusing the program of violating dealer franchise laws. Ford eventually made the decision to loosen EV dealer requirements, with the company citing changes in the market as the reason.
These requirement changes include fewer L2 chargers, an extended installation deadline, and dealer training being cut in half to around $20,000. In addition, they gave dealers the option to leave the program if they changed their minds.
As a result, almost 400 dealers have left Ford’s EV program. In spite of many abandoning the program, the company is still optimistic about it.
“Ford stands by its voluntary Model e program,” said a Ford spokesperson. “The program is designed to ensure that Ford and its dealers provide EV customers with a class-leading experience.”