Ford are notorious for keeping new vehicles a secret until they actually launch. It wasn’t long ago that the Ford GT appeared out of nowhere and the media went cock-a-hoop over it – along with the public and those with half a million dollars yelling “Take my money!!”
Two of the biggest secrets of late have been the “Mustang-Inspired” Electric Crossover and the All-New Bronco (and a reportedly Baby Bronco).
Pictures and speculation are running rampant at the moment all over social media and Ford aren’t helping by keeping all the information and pictures close to the chest as it were – or is it actually superb marketing? It’s possible we may get to see a production model or a thinly veiled concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.
Confirmed by Ford…
- Original speculation said it would be called the Mach I (Ford denied this would be the name) – it’s now officially called Mach E
- It will be based on an electrified version of the platform that underpins the Focus/Escape, so it will most likely be a lot smaller than the Edge then
- From the get-go Ford have said that the EV is going to be fast saying recently: “If you want to capture the spirit of a Mustang, you have to be fast.”
- Kumar Galhotra, Ford President of North America has said the EV crossover will be “a very exciting, fast vehicle” with design and performance “unmistakably Mustang.”
- The crossover should have scheduled maintenance costs which are approximately 38% less than the upcoming 2020 Escape over five years or 120,700 km (75,000 miles)
- Surprisingly, they recently promised access to a “comprehensive nationwide network of charging stations.” This is intriguing!
- Ford said customers will be able to find and pay for charging using the FordPass app. – which is available in just about every one of their newer vehicles
- Ford has been positioning the vehicle as a “Tesla Model Y competitor.” Ford President of global operations, Joe Hinrichs, said that the electric vehicle will be in showrooms around the same time as Tesla’s Model Y and is expected to arrive in showrooms in the fall of 2020 – as a 2021 perhaps?
- Ford has released official ‘spy’ photos of their highly anticipated Mustang-inspired electric crossover
Recently Ford launched a new campaign aimed at dismissing myths about electric vehicles
- According to a Ford survey, “more than 90 percent of Americans and Europeans don’t believe quick acceleration is a great benefit of electric vehicles.” Ford’s Global Director of Electrification, Ted Cannis, explained that EV’s have “instant torque” which is a “fancy term that means electric vehicles can accelerate like hell if you want.”
- Not convinced? Watch this video…
- The Ford survey also revealed that 42% of Americans believe electric vehicles require gas. Seriously?! Realistically the problem may be that people are confusing PHEV’s (plug-in hybrid) with EV’s (EV)
- No Range Anxiety. It will have estimated range of at least 300 miles (483 kms) – some outlets claim it will be a 370 mile (595 km) range
- The vast majority of EV charging (80%) is done at home. The second most common place to charge is at work, so access to a “filling station” isn’t really an issue for more than 90-95% of EV owners. Ford’s research points to range anxiety dropping if an electric car has over 300 miles of range, for this reason 300-plus mile EVs are what Ford is working toward
- The Mustang-inspired EV was filmed testing at the Smithers Winter Test Center in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where the battery has been tested to withstand temperatures of -40° C /-40° F.
- See this YouTube video about cold-weather testing…
So…What’s The Verdict?
The future at Ford seems to be Electric Vehicles – ironic considering Henry Ford single-handedly buried the electric vehicle way back in 1908 with the launch of the Model T! (For a brief history…READ this )
Ford is about 18 months along in their plans to invest $11 billion by 2022 in electric and hybrid vehicles. The Mach E will be followed by a “battery” F-150 (PHEV) and an all-electric Transit prior to 2022. There will also be an all-electric version of the F-150 pickup in the next couple of years and another completely new truck in partnership with Rivian, an EV-startup based outside of Detroit.
Other than Ford and Tesla, there isn’t a huge push for electric vehicles in North America.
GM claim to be investing, but are very quiet and not truly committed at the moment. The Chevrolet Bolt and Volt are terrific vehicles, but seriously over-priced by about $10,000, with nothing even remotely announced as replacements or replacements in the distant future.
FCA (Chrysler) are more concerned with bigger trucks and cars with lots of horsepower and show no interest what-so-ever in electrifying anything at the moment, which will undoubtedly be their downfall.
VW are purportedly gearing up for a major assault on North America in the very near future, with Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz hedging their bets a bit by being much further behind.
Kia and Hyundai have already committed several good vehicles to prove they are serious about EV’s and are looking to expand even further.
All in all, the future looks bright – and quiet (see what I did there?), for the automotive industry over the next few years. There’s plenty of talk about “Climate Change” and we’re on the brink of extinction and EV’s are going to be the BIG difference, so why don’t we start by getting those older, pre-2005 vehicles off the road – ALL of them, especially trucks!
Copyright © 2019 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text: Iain Shankland