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Ford Is Progressing In EVs, But Will It Be Successful?

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Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is making major strides in electric vehicles. The automaker’s EV sales jumped 184% last month, while its total vehicle sales grew 4.1%. But is it enough to overtake competitors in the electric vehicle space?

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Ford's electric vehicle sales surge

Ford revealed on Thursday that it sold more than 10,300 electric vehicles in May, and the bestsellers were the F-150 PowerBoost and Escape. Sales of the electric Escape jumped 125% over the last year, while Ford's hybrid vehicle sales grew 132% year over year. Ford sold 1,945 all-electric Mustang Mach-E cars, a slight decline from April's 1,951 deliveries. Bloomberg also reports that Ford built more electric Mach-E Mustangs than gas-powered Mustangs.

In a statement, Andrew Frick, vice president of Ford Sales for the U.S. and Canada, said they received a "massive number of reservations" for the all-electric F-150 Lightning over the last two weeks. Consumers have ordered more than 70,000 of the electric trucks.

Additionally, Ford SUVs had their best May sales in 18 years, and Lincoln SUVs recorded a new record for May.

Ford versus Tesla and Volkswagen

In a note on Thursday, Canaccord Genuity analyst Jed Dorsheimer said Ford finally found Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)'s playbook. He also weighed the question of whether the Michigan-based automaker can beat the relative newcomer from Silicon Valley. Dorsheimer was referring to the new Ford+ initiative, which takes a software-first approach featuring always-on connectivity.

He noted that Ford was the last of the big legacy automakers to develop all-electric vehicles and that it has a lot to lose. The F-150 has been the bestselling vehicle in the U.S. for over 30 years, and the Mustang has been the bestselling sports car for more than 50 years. Now this year, Ford has made electric versions of both vehicles.

Dorsheimer added that execution is much more challenging than presentation and that Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) (XTR: VOW) led the way in April EV sales, taking the top spot from Tesla. Volkswagen has led the way in EVs among legacy automakers, announcing a halt in gasoline-powered vehicle development.

Ford wants to continue selling both gas-powered and electric vehicles, and Dorsheimer believes that could make it nearly impossible for the automaker to execute. However, he also points out that gasoline and diesel may still be necessary for years in heavy-duty work vehicles.

Ford and Tesla are part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders' families.

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