The brand has said “certified” dealers must invest about $500,000 toward the program, while the higher tier, called “certified elite,” requires up to $1.2 million. Much of that goes toward charging equipment.
Dealers in both tiers no longer will be required to have public chargers operating around the clock. Instead, the chargers must be available Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., mirroring a change to the Lincoln certification program also announced at the NADA Show.
Officials said they will do away with the annual sales cap of 25 EVs for the “certified” tier, but have not settled on how those dealers’ EV volume will be limited.
Tim Hovik, chairman of the Ford National Dealer Council, said the changes, which Automotive News on Friday reported were in the works, are a sign of collaboration between the automaker and its retailers.
“I applaud the company for taking the time to listen,” he said. “I really believe we’ve come to a fair place.”
Marin Gjaja, chief customer officer for Ford Model e, the automaker’s EV division, said he hopes the adjustments appease those opposed to the program.
Dealers in New York have sued, and 32 state associations have sent letters of concern to the company.
“My hope is this reduces the amount of concern there might be,” Gjaja said. “One of the things we’ve found is that there’s a lot of misinformation out there. We need to keep working to make sure we’re communicating the best we can.”