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Ford EVs will use Tesla charging tech in surprise partnership between rival automakers

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Bill Farley and Elon Musk
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DETROIT – Ford Motor CEO Jim Farley and Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk will host a live, audio discussion via Twitter Spaces about accelerating EV adoption at 5:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, according to a post from Farley.

The online discussion between rivals comes as Ford attempts to ramp up production of its fully electric vehicles in an attempt to catch up to — or someday surpass — Tesla’s sales in the segment.

While Tesla still dominates the EV sector by far, Ford came in second in fully electric vehicle sales in the U.S. last year, notching sales of 61,575 electric vehicles.

The Twitter Spaces event will mark the latest interaction between the two executives, who have a unique rivalry. They have each expressed admiration for the other, despite their companies competing directly.

Musk, who leads Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter, has repeatedly praised Ford as a historic American company, lauding its ability to avoid bankruptcy, unlike its crosstown rivals General Motors and Chrysler during the Great Recession.

And while other automakers paused their ad spending on Twitter when Elon Musk took over the social media company last year, Ford stayed active on the platform. Farley has personally often engaged his fans and followers on Twitter, too.

Farley has also praised Tesla for its EV leadership under Musk while attempting to emulate many of its successes.

Ford notably beat Tesla to the pickup segment beginning production of its F-150 Lightning, the electric version of its consistently popular trucks, in April 2022. Ford also heavily benchmarked the Tesla Model Y for its Mustang Mach-E crossover and followed Tesla in price cuts of the electric crossovers.

The timing of the Tesla and Ford leaders’ discussion is likely surprising to many. It comes a day after massive technical glitches on Twitter Spaces interfered with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announcing his presidential campaign there.

It won’t be the first time a Tesla competitor has talked with or asked Musk to speak with them. In 2021, then-Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess invited Musk to call in to an internal conference with executives of the German automaker to talk innovation.

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