Bill Ford Jr: US lags behind rest of the world in shift to EVs

Despite the encouragement from lawmakers and automotive companies pushing electric vehicles as the future of driving - the US has been slow to adopt it. The question is, why?

Ford Motor Company Executive Chair Bill Ford Jr. spoke about the electric future of the industry at the Mackinac Policy Conference Thursday.

He said they are fast becoming the norm in other parts of the globe, but lags behind here at home.

"What’s happening is the world is actually adopting EVs faster than we are," Ford said. "China has just blown by everybody in terms of EV - not just in sales but in terms of technology, affordability, the supply base all of that.

"Then you look at Europe, Europe has adopted EVs much faster than we have."

So what’s the hold up? Ford said gas prices are part of it.

"You know, gasoline is cheaper here than in the rest of the world so that’s one reality. And we have lots of oil in this country, whether we choose to explore it or not, is another question."

Photo by Aaron Jordan / FOX 2

Photo by Aaron Jordan / FOX 2

Democrat Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is a former executive at GM. She talked about the many challenges in the way of getting EVs on to more American driveways.

"There are a lot of hoops that have to be gone through," she said. "We have to build that technology here in the United States. We have to make sure these vehicles are affordable. To a lot of people they are not right now. And the tax credits that are there to help them afford them have become more complicated."

Of course, you'll have to supercharge the power side of it too.

"People need to have confidence that the battery is going to have range and that they can charge their vehicles. So we’ve got to build out those charging stations and we’ve got to upgrade the infrastructure. We have to maintain those chargers. 50 percent of the homes in this country don’t have garages."

Dingell also spoke about the need to strengthen the power grid for reliability to meet the demand of the expected rise in EV ownership.

Photo by Aaron Jordan / FOX 2

Photo by Aaron Jordan / FOX 2