Ford's CEO admits to a 'reality check' during F-150 Lightning Route 66 road trip

The Ford CEO said that charging has been 'pretty challenging' while on his road trip

Ford CEO Jim Farley experienced a common complaint from electric vehicle owners during his cross-country road trip in the automobile maker's electric pickup truck, calling it a "reality check."

"Charging has been pretty challenging," Farley said on X, the social-media website formerly known as Twitter. "It was a really good reality check of the challenges of what our customers go through and the importance of fast charging and what we're going to have to do to improve the charging experience."

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Ford CEO Jim Farley and Ford F-150 Lightning truck

Ford CEO Jim Farley pats a Ford F-150 Lightning truck before announcing at a press conference that Ford Motor Company will be partnering with the world's largest battery company, Contemporary Amperex Technology, to create an electric-vehicle battery (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images / Getty Images)

His comment came during his roundtrip across Route 66 in Ford's latest electrical vehicle venture, the F-150 Lighting. The CEO documented his experience on both X and LinkedIn.

Farley said he visited a popular charging depot on Interstate 5 in Coalinga, California, where there were 40 readily available Tesla Superchargers. 

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The Ford CEO had to use a low-speed charger that he said delivered him a 40% charge in about 40 minutes.

At another stop, Farley highlighted a good experience at a 350 kW charger in Baker, California, expressing his enthusiasm for the quick and easy charging experience. 

"Was so quick and easy. Really highlighted the difference that nice stations and fast charging can make on the overall EV experience," Farley said.

auto workers in Detroit Ford plant

Ford Motor Company's electric F-150 Lightning is seen on the production line at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, on Sept. 8, 2022. (JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The length of charging for the Michigan-based company has been a barrier for slow-adopters of electric vehicles to buy in.

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Tesla's electric-vehicle charging technology is faster than Ford's, causing the car manufacturer to partner with the Elon Musk-owned company to make its Supercharger network available to all Ford drivers. The rollout is expected to start in the spring.

EV Charger

Electric cars are parked at a charging station in Sacramento, California, on April 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File / AP Newsroom)

Farley’s road trip in the F-150 Lightning is to learn more about the EV experience. He followed Route 66 from Palo Alto, California, to Las Vegas. 

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Farley said in a LinkedIn post prior to his departure that he and others at Ford would "see researchers, businesses, dealers, salespeople, EV conversion shops, EV drivers and communities."