Ford (F) CEO Jim Farley revealed during Monday’s Capital Markets Day that the automaker would soon make it as easy as possible for you to buy an EV with transparent pricing, flexible purchase options, and remote vehicle delivery. Ultimately, Ford is offering you the opportunity to skip what many consider the worst part of the buying experience – the dealership.
Ford upgrades the EV buying experience with fixed pricing
During Monday’s event, Ford discussed its next-generation EVs, including a three-row SUV and another full-size electric pickup codenamed Project T3.
Farley says the automaker’s EV unit, Model e, will focus on three key initiatives, including:
- Developing EVs and software platforms
- Launching a new customer experience with its dealers
- Building its industrial system to deliver millions of EVs efficiently
Ford’s second (and third) generation EVs will be launched in larger, more profitable segments. Farley describes the new electric pickup as “a technological tour de force that will transform a worksite” and its seven-passenger electric SUV as a “personal bullet train.”
To match the new modern electric vehicles, Ford is rolling out a simple and consumer-friendly buying experience that emphasizes non-negotiable pricing. Farley explained at its Capital Markets Day event:
Starting in January, Model E customers will have flexible purchase options, online, in the store, with transparent pricing that they don’t have to haggle over, and remote vehicle delivery, and later pick up as well.
Soon, Ford EV buyers will have more options, including new retail replenishment centers that can deliver vehicles in under ten days. The new EV buying experience is designed to establish relationships with dealerships rather than it being a hassle to negotiate prices.
Ford will drastically reduce EV inventory and deploy a new marketing model focusing on growing relationships rather than spending billions on TV advertisements.
In December, Ford revealed around two-thirds of its dealers – 1,920, to be precise – enrolled in its EV dealer program designed to streamline distribution.
Ford wants to satisfy dealers and new EV buyers with flexible purchase options and non-negotiable pricing. This isn’t the first time Farley has suggested a direct sales approach, but with a set date now, it will become a reality next year.
Nobody likes to go into the dealership and have to negotiate prices several times with the salespeople. Tesla and other EV makers have shown a direct sales approach works. It’s not only consumer-friendly but also cuts out unnecessary inventory costs.
Ford will satisfy customers with online, customizable purchase options and dealers with “later pick up” and the traditional buying experience still being offered.
The first US-built offshore wind substation is sailing to New York
The first US-built offshore wind substation is complete and headed to South Fork Wind – a major milestone for the US offshore wind industry.
Offshore substations collect and stabilize power that the wind turbines generate, preparing it for transmission to shore. South Fork Wind’s 1,500-ton, 60-foot-tall substation was designed and engineered in Kansas, and built near Corpus Christi by Kiewit Offshore Services, the largest offshore fabricator in the US.
The first US-built offshore wind substation left Kiewit’s factory on a ship late last week. It’s going to cross the Gulf of Mexico and then sail up the East Coast for installation off Long Island in a few weeks.
David Hardy, group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted, said:
The completion of South Fork Wind’s offshore wind substation is yet another first for this groundbreaking project and moves us one step closer to the project’s first ‘steel in the water.’
South Fork, which is being jointly developed by Danish wind giant Ørsted and energy provider Eversource, is expected to be operational by 2023, when it will become the first completed utility-scale offshore wind farm in US federal waters.
Cable laying is currently under way, and the installation of monopile foundations will begin in coming weeks.
The 132 megawatt (MW), 12-turbine project will produce enough clean energy to power 70,000 homes in New York.
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Read more: The first US-built offshore wind service ship reaches a milestone
Quick Charge Podcast: May 29, 2023
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ZParq completes $2.7M seed round to bring ultracompact electric marine motors to market
Swedish marine propulsion startup ZParq announced it has successfully completed a seed round led by cleantech investors, totaling 2.5 million euros ($2.68M). With the fresh funding, ZParq looks to bring its compact electric marine motors, powertrains, and other adjacent technologies to market to help decarbonize the segment.
ZParq is a young startup founded in Sweden in 2020, which, according to the company, was founded to challenge the limits of marine propulsion by providing the most compact and scalable systems for propeller-driven watercraft. Furthermore, the startup is striving to deliver products that are designed to be sustainable over the entire value chain. Per the company site:
Our founding team covers the span of electromechanical design, hydrodynamics, electronics and product design. We’ve been developing our technology to fill the gap where compact submersible electric propulsion systems are needed for high performance applications.
As you’ll see below, ZParq has already developed and sleek and compact portfolio of marine technologies, including electric motors, battery packs, inverters, levers, and even a steering joystick. Early on, ZParq joined the portfolio of EIT InnoEnergy – the largest impact cleantech investor in Europe, who was the startup’s first institutional investor.
Now, EIT InnoEnergy, along with a couple of other capital venture funds, have opened up their checkbooks to help get ZParq’s electric marine motors out to market and beyond.
ZParq’s electric marine motors are sustainable end-to-end
The startup recently shared details of its successful seed round coled by Santander (via the Santander InnoEnergy Climate Fund) and Almi Invest GreenTech. EIT InnoEnergy also participated once again.
Each of these funds is focused around investments in early-stage companies developing new technologies to support a circular economy and combat climate change. Clearly, they see potential in ZParq – which is touting all-electric marine motors that are significantly smaller and more efficient compared to everything else on the current market.
ZParq states the motor’s light design reduces raw material and CO2 footprint by more than 50% in the production phase, and the circular design approach of its products helps reduce their environmental impact and climate footprint throughout their entire life cycle. ZParq CEO Jonas Genchel spoke to the successful seed round and the venture capitalists that have shown their support:
We are very happy to get Santander and Almi Invest GreenTech as new investors, they will provide us with the support required to finalize development of our first products and enable shipment to our customers already this year. Our scalable and modular technology has generated an overwhelming interest from boat manufacturers and ship builders globally, and we have customers within the complete range from small leisure boats to commercial vessels waiting for our powertrains. The company is currently in pilot phase with several OEMs and boat builders who are testing its 10kW and 50kW motors. It aims to have several units operating in water by this summer
It appears ZParq already has plenty of exciting electric marine technology in the works, including more powerful motors, so we will be sure to track its progress as these products approach market launch. A fresh 2.5 million euros should certainly help it continue to innovate and hopefully find success. More to come.
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