As the market for electric vehicles and autonomous driving software continues to expand, automakers are striving to position themselves as more than just car manufacturers. Ford Motor (ticker: F) is among these automakers, aiming for bigger goals. In a recent announcement, Ford Pro, the commercial division of Ford, unveiled its new electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions specifically tailored for business customers. The company is introducing new and improved alternating-current (AC) chargers, which promise enhanced serviceability, improved connectivity, and over-the-air software updates.
While not the fastest chargers available, AC chargers are ideal for commercial customers as they offer a cost-effective way to recharge delivery and utility vehicles overnight. These customers typically do not rely on more expensive direct-current (DC) fast chargers. Ford Pro’s charging solutions are designed to streamline the transition to electric vehicles, providing curated commercial charging options. Ted Cannis, CEO of Ford Pro, expressed the company's commitment to this cause, stating, "We're dedicated to assisting businesses in making the switch to electric vehicles seamlessly. With our comprehensive EV consulting services and an extensive portfolio of charging hardware and software solutions, we can create, implement, and manage long-lasting charging solutions for both Ford and other brands."
Under the subscription-based model, Ford Pro generates revenue from its charging services. By the end of the second quarter, the company had expanded its software and service offerings for approximately 4,200 chargers, representing a 22% increase from the first quarter.
With its forward-thinking approach and customer-centric solutions, Ford Pro is solidifying its position as a leader in the electric vehicle market. By prioritizing ease of transition and a tailored charging experience, the company is supporting businesses in their journey towards sustainable transportation solutions.
Tesla's Opportunity in EV Charging
Tesla (TSLA), the leader in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing, has recently made a strategic move by allowing non-Tesla EVs to charge at its supercharging locations. This decision has opened up the eyes of investors to the vast opportunity in EV charging. Tesla boasts the largest network of DC fast-charging stations across the United States.
Ford, one of the major automakers, has also benefited from this agreement with Tesla. However, it remains uncertain whether Ford owns any of the 4,200 chargers at these locations.
In terms of stock performance, Ford has been experiencing a decline of around 23% over the past year, while the S&P 500 has seen a growth of approximately 10% during the same period. Investors are concerned about the impact of high interest rates on car demand and the effect of falling prices on profit margins.
Currently, Ford's stock is trading at around 6.2 times the expected per-share earnings for 2024, while the S&P 500 is trading at about 17.4 times.
Despite these challenges, Ford's Pro division continues to generate revenue by supplying vehicles to commercial businesses. In the second quarter, Pro reported an operating profit of $2.4 billion from sales of $15.6 billion, with a delivery of 365,000 units.
As of now, Ford's stock was slightly down by 0.1% in early Tuesday trading. Futures for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average remained flat.