US automakers multiply electric ads

As battery-charging bills skyrocket, or Tesla owners are urged not to charge their cars in California, the US auto industry is beginning to embrace the virtues of electrification. “Electric cars will end up being the only option” acknowledges Tim Stokes, a visitor to the Detroit Auto Show which ends this Sunday, to AFP, before acknowledging “wait as long as possible” before leaving the thermal vehicle.

US President Joe Biden, visiting the program last week, already estimated that the “The great American road trip will go fully electric.” Meanwhile, visitors to this great international fair continue to ask themselves: are the higher prices justified? Will battery production continue and at what cost to the environment? Will the network of charging stations be enough? The US administration has released a budget of 7,500 million dollars to encourage the construction of terminals throughout the country.

The abundance of offerings at the show clearly shows that the electric car is no longer a niche product in the United States. Encouraged by public authorities, manufacturers have multiplied the electric versions of their most popular d models. Chevrolet has thus highlighted an electric pick-up (the Silverado) and two SUVs (the Blazer and the Equinoxe), available on request, for deliveries scheduled for 2023. Ford has presented an electric version of its successful pick-up, the F- 150, baptized Lightning, and launched a new SUV, the Mustang Mach-E. Earlier this month, Jeep also announced the launch of four electric SUVs.

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200,000 orders for the electric version of the Ford F-150

Faced with the influx of reservations for the Lightning, which has accumulated around 200,000 orders since May 2021, Ford has quadrupled its initial production target. Will the group end up selling more F-150 Litghning than with a combustion engine? This is the question on the minds of all the big car groups, which are investing billions of dollars in electric vehicles, while continuing to produce millions of traditional vehicles every year. “The industry is changing so fast that no one can really predict what will happen”explains to AFP Chris Skaggs, in charge of the expansion of the F-150 factory.

However, industry insiders believe a real transformation of the US fleet will take years, particularly because of prices: An electric car costs an average of about $67,000, according to Cox Automotive. Manufacturers are also experiencing supply chain difficulties and are concerned about the future availability of certain materials, such as lithium or cobalt.

(with AFP)