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Ford Motor Co. typically plays close to the vest with its electric car and other alternative vehicle development. But here are hits out of Dearborn that a Ford EV with 200 miles or so of range may be in the works.
Tesla Motors initially upped the ante in the mid-range electric vehicle segment by announcing that at least one version of its upcoming $35,000 (base price) Model 3 would be able to travel 200 miles on a single charge. That was followed by General Motors’ announcement that it would launch a 200-mile EV, the Chevrolet Volt, this fall. That’s at least a year before the first Tesla Model 3 rolls off the production line.
Ford, which has one EV and two plug-in hybrids in the market now, was silent. The head of Ford’s vehicle electrification program even said in an interview that he thought a Ford Focus EV with 100 miles of range ought to satisfy most people.
But during Ford’s recent earnings call with analysts, CEO Mark Fields appeared to be pointing toward a longer-range Ford electric car.
Asked whether Ford intended to launch a 200-mile EV to compete with GM and Tesla, Fields said that when the competition was planning 200-milers, then “clearly that’s something we’re developing for.”
The automaker isn’t always the first to the party, preferring to wait and see how the market responds to competitor’s offerings before jumping in. So don’t expect a long-range Ford EV anytime soon.
Ford previously has laid legal claim to the brand name “Model E.” The trade journal Automotive News recently speculated that a Model E with both battery-electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains could be coming from Ford in 2019.