June 23, 2024

The Ford logo

The Ford logo on the side of a building.
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

Ford CEO Jim Farley says people should stop thinking about plug-in hybrid cars as a transition to fully electric vehicles — and that they should instead start thinking of them as another permanent class of automobiles, right along with the long-dominant pure internal combustion engine vehicles.

“I mean, the first generation Prius, I was at Toyota, it was 20 years ago, Ford launched the hybrid Escape,” he said at an industry conference put on by wealth management firm Bernstein. “And here we are talking about the exciting hybrid market. It’s 25 years old now.”

Last month, Ford reiterated that it would slow down its investments in EVs in order to focus more strongly on its hybrid models, which made up 7.5% of all the vehicles it sold in the first quarter of this year.

Reuters reports that General Motors CEO Mary Barra feels differently. At the same conference she made clear that her company thinks it’s a transition that will have to come eventually.

“Let’s remember with a hybrid, you have two propulsion systems on that vehicle,” she said. “And so it’s not the end game because it’s not zero emission.”

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