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Everything You Need to Know About Ford's EV Certified Program

The announcement of Ford's new EV Certification program is making waves in the automotive world. Some dealerships have signed up for the program and see the benefits, while others view the program as a violation of franchise rules in the United States. Read on for the full story!

Amie-Lynn Mitchell

Content Creator

Ford has a long history of being on the front lines of automotive development, electric vehicles included. Ford EVs have grown exponentially, from the Ford Focus all-electric option in 2012 to the Ford Mach E, unveiled in 2019 as Ford’s first all-electric SUV complete with autonomous driving options. Ford engineers are passionate about constantly improving their EVs' performance, from range to car convenience and usability. Ford plans to rapidly increase the production of its electric vehicles and progress is evident as more models emerge each year. With Ford always striving for innovation and improvement, drivers can expect only the best performances and features when they invest in a Ford EV. However, their new EV Certified Program is being questioned by some and adopted by others. 
Photo courtesy of Ford. 
Ford is now facing pushback from dealers across the country over its newly introduced sales strategy. Ford is revamping its EV sales model, with the "EV Certified" program serving as the first step. Any dealer selling Ford electric vehicles must go through a training process in order to obtain this certification. However, because of the certification requirements, the automaker is now facing opposition, and possibly legal challenges, from dealers who do not want to participate in the program but still want to sell Ford's hotly sought-after electric vehicles. 
 
Dealer associations claim that Ford Motor Company is violating franchise rules and unfairly burdening its retail network with costly restrictions on the sale of electric vehicles in at least 13 states in America. One of CEO Jim Farley's signature initiatives, which requires dealers to invest up to $1.2 million in chargers, staff training, and new sales standards to revamp the retail experience, has been the subject of a letter from state officials in Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and others requesting significant changes from Ford with their new initiative. In response, a Ford representative said: “The Model e Electric Vehicle Program was designed to deliver an unparalleled purchase, service and ownership experience for customers,” in an email. The manufacturing giant claims that the program will be extremely beneficial for dealers because although there is a hefty buy-in, it will give them the upper hand as they will be among a select few approved to sell these electric vehicles. 

What Is the Ford EV Certified Program?

Photo courtesy of Ford.

The main requirements for Ford's EV Certification program are to sell EVs at fixed prices and to invest between $500,000 and $1.2 million in EV charging infrastructure. Dealers will receive a corresponding number of electric vehicles to sell based on how much they choose to invest. If a dealer refuses to certify, they will be unable to sell Ford's electric vehicles. Dealers who have decided not to invest in electric vehicles may reconsider when Ford reopens the certification process in 2027. As of now, two-thirds of Ford dealers have signed up for the program, and those who haven't will have the chance again in 2027. 

The program is an opportunity for dealers who want to sell the company’s electric automobile models to receive additional benefits and support from the company. There are several criteria that dealers must meet to become automobile licensed, including having a dedicated area for electric vehicle sales and service and undergoing training on the company’s electric cars. In return, dealers who become electric cars accredited receive benefits such as priority allocation of vehicles, additional marketing support, and a designated point of contact at the company who can provide additional assistance with sales and service.

Ford dealers can become "EV certified" in one of two tiers under the programme. The lower tier requires a $500,000 initial investment and includes the following:

  • Repair and maintenance
  • Public DC fast charger
  • No EVs to show in the showroom
  • No access to Ford.com presence 

The "certified elite" package will cost between $1 million and $1.2 million and will include two public DC fast chargers, demo units, rapid replenishment, and a presence on Ford.com.

Photo courtesy of Ford. 

Ford maintains that their customers are first priority and the implementation of this program will ensure they come first. Dealers who are interested in becoming accredited should know a few things. Becoming an EV-accredited dealer has both pros and cons. The main advantage of becoming EV licensed is that it will help them sell more EVs and be an exclusive dealer of Ford's full electric lineup. This will help dealers close sales and improve customer satisfaction. However, there are a few disadvantages to becoming accredited. One is the requirement of investing in new equipment and training. The company also requires that dealers have a dedicated salesperson and service technician who is trained in electric cars. 

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