🔩 Is right to repair Ford's blue ocean?
Not unlike an iPhone, most electric vehicles have been designed as a black box of reparability. Take the now iconic Tesla, and you'll find a hardware and software package deeply integrated (which is fantastic) with very few options (if any) to tune or fix something in it yourself.
Is it a bad thing? My unpopular opinion would be that the advantages far outweigh the owner's frustration of being able to get "under the hood," --which is lines now mostly a bunch of lines of code anyway. But then again, you've all seen these US farmers struggling to get their half-million dollars (I'm being conservative) John Deere repaired. A bleak picture of the EV future.
Compound this with another glimpse of our future where tractors stolen by Russian soldiers in Ukraine were remotely bricked, and as consumers, we probably should get worried.
But now that incumbent automakers are struggling to get in the EV market, after neglecting it for more than a decade, the lines are moving. Automakers like Ford have been trying to find value to add to the EV market for a few years now. And their latest push seems to try and differentiate from the new-gen EV automakers by probing how much reparability they could bring back into the market.
For instance, Ford is now pushing models that integrate into their design a standardized electric engine crate which, on paper, would allow you to not only fix but also replace an aging factory-installed electric motor.
Right. But Ford is also dealing with many conflicting business priorities. Its vision for consumers' "right to repair" goes as far as it will help differentiate itself from the likes of Tesla and secure its market for the years to come.
For everything else, Ford is still behaving like traditional automakers trying to secure a closed garden around its technologies and lock in its customers as much as possible...