Ford EVs will connect to Tesla Superchargers

Ford dealers, as part of a series of standards in order to sell future EVs, are required to build a number of charging stations. A spokesman said Thursday’s announcement does not change those requirements.

“The Model e program was developed in consultation with our dealers and is designed to provide the best-in-class customer experience,” the spokesperson said. “The equipment defined in the current Charging Standards fully supports Ford’s existing CCS BEV offerings, and when used in combination with a NACS-to-CCS adapter, will support future Ford vehicles equipped with the Tesla NACS inlet port.”

It is still unclear whether the dealer would be required to provide the adapter or if the customer would be responsible for bringing their own.

“Tesla has led the industry in creating a large, reliable and efficient charging system and we are pleased to be able to join forces in a way that benefits customers and overall EV adoption,” Marin Gjaja, chief customer officer, Ford Model e, said in a statement. “The Tesla Supercharger network has excellent reliability and the NACS plug is smaller and lighter. Overall, this provides a superior experience for customers.”

Speaking on CNBC Friday, Farley said he thinks Tesla’s NACS ports could become the industry standard based off their ease of use and that other rivals might follow Ford’s lead.

“The standard will be, who takes care of customers the best,” said Farley. “I think GM and others will have a big choice to make.”

Developing appreciation

Farley said he developed an appreciation for Tesla’s charging network while on a family vacation last year.

“My kids kept looking at me and going, ‘Hey, Dad, there’s another Supercharger. Can we stop there?’ and I was like, ‘No, we have to go here behind this other building,’” he said. “It became obvious to me the job [Musk’s] the team had done and what it means to customers.”

Musk and Farley, who had as many as 115,000 listeners on their Thursday evening announcement, said they’d continue to explore ways to collaborate to increase EV adoption.

The tie-up is notable given the pair’s sometimes chippy past.

Farley and Ford are known to take jabs at Musk and Tesla in speeches, on Twitter and in commercials.

For example, when Ford launched its BlueCruise driver-assist technology, Farley tweeted: “We tested it in the real world, so our customers don’t have to” — a shot at Tesla’s Autopilot technology.

Musk clapped back with a video snippet of the film Tommy Boy, featuring Farley’s late cousin comedian Chris Farley in an out-of-control driving scene. He tweeted that he “found some footage” of Ford testing out BlueCruise.

One of Ford’s recent commercials made fun of those who “fly away on their own personal space ships when things get hard,” a reference to Musk and other billionaires’ attempts at commercial space endeavors.

And Ford public relations people are quick to point out that Tesla’s customer service vans are often gasoline-powered Ford Transits.

But on Thursday evening, the two CEOs were free of each other.

“It’s super hard what Tesla’s done,” Farley said. “I totally respect them to do that, to make a fully software-updatable vehicle.”

Ford shares rose 7.7 percent to $12.26 in Friday morning trading.

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