Ford has until now focused the development of its electric range on the high end. But a more affordable family is finally being prepared to counter the Chinese threat… and Tesla.
Two years ago, Ford proudly launched its Model E division which brought together all its activities related to electric vehicles. The goal was to demonstrate to investors the viability of its electrification strategy. The presentation of the 2023 results will have made it possible to judge: only 116,000 cars sold by Model E, or 2.6% of the group’s volumes.
To try to compensate, Jim Farley, Managing Director of Ford, confirmed that the American group was working on a new platform to give rise to affordable electric vehicles. In reality, a team has been working on this project for two years, almost in secret. A vehicle platform, which also includes the electronics and software components. Farley also noted that Ford is revising its spending to favor this family of affordable vehicles.
Will the electric Ford Explorer see the light of day in 2024?
In the United States, the most affordable electric Ford is the Mustang Mach-E, which starts at $43,000. Which makes it one of the most expensive models (excluding pickups) in the range, leaving only the large Expedition SUV above it.
This “adjustment” of strategy responds to two threats: the future Tesla “Project Redwood” promised at $25,000, but also Chinese competition. While Inflation Reduction Act regulations still protect Ford in its domestic market, it is exposed to this new competition in international markets, and a time will come when some Chinese brands will manage to circumvent the IRA by producing in “friendly” countries. Like Mexico…
A historical precedent
The idea of an affordable electric Ford isn’t entirely new. The manufacturer developed, in England, the prototype of the Comuta city car (our illustration): 2 meters long, 4 seats, 550 kg, 60 km/h maximum, 60 km range with its lead batteries… A vehicle born a little too early, since it was created in 1967, shortly before the oil crises!
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