April 14, 2024

A photo of a Ford badge on an electric concept car.

Photo: Lukas Schulze (Getty Images)

A lot of noise has been made in recent weeks about the electric vehicle strategy America’s automakers are rolling out. They seemingly all decided it was a great idea to start with electric pickup trucks and other massive motors, until they didn’t quite take off as expected. Now, Ford is backtracking on this drive for big EVs and will reportedly redirect resources to develop smaller, more affordable electric models.

Ford has reportedly put plans for a new three-row EV on the back burner while it instead works on something smaller, reports Automotive News. The site claims that the Blue Oval could release a new model built on a new “small vehicle platform as early as late 2026.” As Automotive News explains:

Ford Motor Co. is delaying planned three-row electric vehicles similar in size to the Explorer and Lincoln Aviator as it focuses on smaller, more affordable EVs, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.

The three-row EVs, to be built in Canada at Ford’s planned Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex, were expected to go on sale in early 2025. Instead, Ford is shifting to launch an affordable EV on a small vehicle platform as early as late 2026, one of the people said.

That small crossover is expected to be built at the company’s Louisville Assembly Plant, the person said. The UAW and Ford agreed as part of its 2023 labor contract to add a new EV product to Louisville before the deal expires in 2028, although the parties did not specify timing.

The pivot to smaller electric models is all part of Ford’s plan to remain competitive against Chinese electric car makers, which are seen as a big threat to American automakers thanks to their *checks notes* bargain prices.

As such, Ford boss Jim Farley said that “smaller, cheaper EVs are needed to compete with Chinese automakers” and help Ford turnaround its loss-making electric vehicle arm.

A version of this article originally appeared on Jalopnik.

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