Ford Motor’s latest offering seems like an oxymoron twice over: It’s a sport utility vehicle that’s electric … that’s a Mustang.
It’s also Detroit’s biggest bet yet on a mass-market future for battery-powered cars.
The big automakers have been producing hybrid and fully electric vehicles for years. But almost all have been smaller models that found limited demand. Even the manufacturers often referred to them as “compliance cars” — built to help meet environmental regulations while they mainly turned out big internal-combustion vehicles that sold well and made hefty profits.
Purists will probably complain about the looks, and I guess they have a point. The Mustang has always been know for its distinctive and sleeks lines, and the decision to shoehorn an SUV into a Mustang could be divisive, but it is keeping with Ford’s decision to switch away from “family cars” to SUVs and trucks.
Pricing and performance seems tailored to parallel the upcoming Tesla Model Y in price and performance, though it comes up short on range in its high end trim, and is 6 cubic feet shy on cargo space on all trims.
Also, Ford gets to have a celebrity spokesman, which Tesla, so far, does not, and he comes in the form of Idris Elba, which is certainly better (and less creepy) than Matthew McConnaughey.
Prices for the new EV range from $43K to $60K and you can reserve one now for $500 (refundable), though they will not be shipping until about this time next year (for the high end models), and sometime in 2021 for the cheaper models. One thing that Ford does have helping its efforts is that the $7500 federal tax credit (and some state credits) are still available. Tesla’s remaining $1875 credit expires at years end, and GM’s in April 2020. Ford, having only sold about seven of its Ford Focus EVs has a ways to go.
One caveat I see after reviewing the Ford web site is that a number of the specs like range and performance are not firm, but a “target” spec. Which means, “Here’s what we hope it does when it comes out”, which I have to say
And that will be, to use the hoary cliche, “where the rubber meets the road”. Will Ford hit that ship date? Probably, since they are a “big auto” company and are supposed to be able to mass produce cars on time. And will they be mass produced, and available nationwide, and will dealers actually sell a product that will be less profitable to dealerships going forward?