Ford Dealers Have To Pay Up For Next-Gen EV Certification

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Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analysis of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured in publications such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine and Autoblog.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - February 17, 2021

Ford dealers looking to sell the brand's newest EVs will have to pay for the privilege. According to a letter sent to dealers on Monday, the automaker estimates that dealers will have to invest as much as $35,000 to attain what the company calls its "next-generation" EV certification.

To be fair, $35,000 may seem like a drop in the bucket in order to be able to sell highly-anticipated vehicles like the Mustang Mach-E. It could also be considered somewhat of a no-brainer considering the cost to install chargers and equipment to safely service the latest electrified models.

In about a year, the brand will introduce an electric version of America's most popular truck, the F-150. An early prototype showcased the vehicle's exceptional towing capabilities (photo below). Late last year, the brand said it expected the EV to be cheaper to own than the gas F-150.

Other models will include the Escape PHEV — delayed a year due to production issues — and an electric variant of the Transit van. Failure to attain certification could be costly to dealers. Ford says this will disqualify them from being able to take reservations and online orders "for current and future Ford EV products" and perform warranty service.

Ford says the initial investment is optional for most dealers at the moment and is merely an estimate that covers chargers, service equipment, and installation. One of the initial milestones to be eligible to take EV reservations requires demonstrating 240V charging capability and ordering necessary service equipment by April 30.

Given the immense interest among consumers for the all-new Mach-E, we think it's likely that dealers will opt to be certified. However, there's always the chance that your local dealer may not find it worth getting fully certified. To put that into perspective, only about half of GMC dealers will carry the new Hummer EV.

That said, the Hummer will start as a 1,000-horsepower supertruck costing over $100,000. In contrast, Ford's stated strategy is to keep EVs relatively affordable. Whether or not the brand will be able to get its national network of dealers fully invested in its next generation of vehicles remains to be seen.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analysis of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured in publications such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine and Autoblog.

Follow On: Twitter

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