Ford bets on electric Mustang
The Mustang Mach E electric sports utility vehicle unveiled by Ford Motor Co in Los Angeles on Sunday is more than just a new car from the legendary automaker..
For CEO Jim Hackett, Mach E’s aggressive design and futuristic interior is a welcome result of a product creation process he has tried to explain to skeptical Wall Street analysts over the past two years..
For Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr., the Mustang Mach E combines two previously conflicting priorities: his commitment to making Ford a leader in clean cars and making the automaker carbon neutral by 2030, and his personal love for the Mustang and the growl of his engine.
«We really bet on this car», – said Ford in an interview ahead of the Mach E presentation. The automaker said it will spend $ 11.5 billion by 2022 on developing electric and hybrid models..
Ford’s trust in Mach E and its determination to challenge Tesla was reflected in the location the company chose to unveil it: an aircraft hangar a short walk from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Musk often uses SpaceX’s power to unveil new Tesla models, and has scheduled his electric pickup to debut in Los Angeles on Thursday..
Musk reacted to Ford’s Twitter event late at night:
«Congratulations on Mach E! Sustainable / electric vehicles are the future! Love this new product from Ford as it will inspire other automakers to use electricity».
Mach E started out with rather modest ambitions.
The SUV was originally intended to be what Ted Cannis, Ford’s global electrification director, called «match game» – an electric version of a front-wheel drive internal combustion vehicle, aimed at achieving emission quotas in accordance with clean air regulations at low cost. There was no connection with the mustang image.
Boring electric cars were the norm for Ford and other older automakers. Tesla Inc then released the Model S in 2013 – an electric car that looks like a luxury European sports sedan with a giant screen for the dashboard and entertainment and functional features that can be updated via software updates over the air..
Tesla’s market value is now higher than Ford’s.
Ford’s own research showed boring EVs was a mistake, Cannis and other executives say.
The Ford team began development using a new architecture designed from the ground up for use as a battery-electric vehicle, instead of the original plan to use a modified version of a combustion engine car.
Ford engineers say the base Mach E will have a range of around 230 miles (370 kilometers) on a single charge, while the long-range variant will have more than 300 miles (483 kilometers). The base version is expected to accelerate from zero to 60 mph (96.6 km / h) in just over six seconds, while the performance of the GT version will do it in about 3.5 seconds..
The basic version is rear-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive options. Mustang badges are located on the front, trunk, rims and steering wheel. The Mustang team has set the Mach E chassis tuning, which determines its handling. Designers also copied the Mustang’s triple taillights..
Orders are being taken in the US now, and the SUV will hit dealerships next fall. The base model will cost just under $ 44,000, while the GT will start at around $ 65,000. Ford Buyers Still Eligible for a $ 7,500 Federal Tax Credit, which is being phased out for Tesla and General Motors vehicles.
Last year, clean electric vehicles accounted for only 1.5% of new car sales worldwide, and consulting firm LMC Automotive predicts that figure will rise to 2.2% this year. In the US, electric vehicle sales were just 1.2% in 2018 and are expected to be about the same this year..
But carmakers see room for growth with electric vehicles traveling 250 miles or more on a single charge. LMC predicts that new models and product expansion will account for 17% of global sales and 7% of US sales in 2030.
First-generation electric vehicles, which were mostly modified versions of existing models designed to meet government fuel economy standards, did not sell well as they could not travel more than 100 miles between charges. But now many can overcome the distance with a margin that people cover in one day..
«The vision of 250 miles as a real event was a kind of tipping point in the electric vehicle market», – said Jake Fisher, director of automated testing for Consumer Reports.
While there is plenty of electrical engineering from luxury brands to emerge over the next few years, major brands such as Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota are also on the production schedule. Brands that have announced new models that will go on sale over the next few years include Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Cadillac, Byton, Rivian, Bollinger, Kia, Faraday Future, Volkswagen, Mazda, Tesla, Aston Martin, Polestar and Volvo, reported by Edmunds.com.
Ford and General Motors have announced plans for an all-electric pickup truck that will compete with the top-selling gasoline and diesel trucks in the US.