Perhaps Ford should re-think going all-in on EVs.
The production shutdown at the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center will be extended until March 13, over a month after electric trucks stopped moving down the assembly line. Everything ground to halt when on February 4 an F-150 Lighting caught fire while awaiting a quality inspection on the line. If that’s not one of the most ironic things, it’s up there.
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EV apologists have tried playing the production halt off as no big deal. After all, shutdowns are a part of car factory operations, although they were admittedly rare before shutdown-induced supply chain shortages. However, we’re hard-pressed to remember the last time a gas-burning vehicle caught fire anywhere on an assembly line.
Ford has tried explaining the problem away, saying the issue which sparked the fire came from a different plant owned by the automaker but run by battery partner SK On. The Blue Oval has tried assuring customers that no EV trucks with the same issue have made their way into consumers’ hands, although not everyone is resting easy on that issue. After all, spontaneous fires with electric cars have been an alleged issue in a number of garage blazes, with some private parking structures famously banning certain EVs.
What Ford of course won’t answer is why the problem which caused the battery to suddenly flare up requires 5 weeks to correct. There are several possibilities, but automakers can be notoriously secretive especially when it comes to anything cutting-edge. The problem is most people are going to be suspicious about the lack of an explanation as EV skepticism continues strong, and perhaps for good reason.
After all, the fire in the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center not only damaged the one Ford F-150 Lightning, it spread to two other trucks waiting in the quality inspection line. Imagine what a fault with your EV truck charging in the garage could do to your house. If that makes you squirm, perhaps you ought to be demanding greater assurances that current battery technology is in fact stable enough to be trusted near your home.
Meanwhile, some people are disposed to eagerly consume the shiny new object and not ask too many questions, their eagerness spurring automakers forward on a supposed all-electric future plan. After all, MotorTrend called the Lightning the best truck Ford has ever made and you should accept that unquestioningly.
Source: Detroit Free Press
Images via Ford