Ford Reveals Nearly 66% of Dealers Agree to Join New EV Certification Program

Mustang Mach-E, courtesy of Ford

Around two-thirds of the Ford dealership network has registered for the automaker’s electric vehicle (EV) certification program, according to recent statements from the company’s head.

Ford CEO Jim Farley said that 1,920 of the automaker’s dealerships have opted into the company’s upgraded EV programs, as stated at the Automotive News Congress event on Monday, out of its nearly 3,000 dealerships.

The program will oversee sizable investments into EV charging equipment at dealership locations, and increased training protocols to equip employees with the necessary knowledge for battery-electric vehicles.

“The future of the franchise system hangs in the balance here,” Farley said. “The No. 1 EV player in the U.S. bet against the dealers. We wanted to make the opposite choice.”

The Ford “Certified Elite” program, which 1,659 of the dealers selected, requires dealers to invest around $1.2 million into training and charging hardware.

About 261 of the dealers chose to opt into the “Certified” lower tier of the program, which includes an investment of $500,000 with a maximum EV sales cap of about 25 per year.

In sum, Ford’s dealerships amount to about 3,000 dealerships in the U.S., and those that didn’t opt into one of the certification tiers will be prohibited from selling EVs beyond 2023. Still, even those that didn’t opt-in will gain another chance to become certified in 2025.

“We want to work with our dealers, but there are certain things our customers want that are nonnegotiable,” Farley added.