Are they or aren’t they?
After months of refusing to comment on whether Ford is working on a 200-mile EV to challenge competitors GM, Tesla and Nissan, Kevin Layden, Ford’s Director of Electrification Programs and Engineering, seemed to dash our hopes when he said that the 2017 Focus Electric’s 100-mile range should be plenty for most drivers.
“I think the Focus Electric at 100 miles…is going to satisfy a big chunk of the population,” Kevin Party-Pooper told Automotive News.
More recently, Ford CEO Mark Fields hinted that that won’t be the last word. During the company’s first-quarter earnings conference call, Fields was asked whether Ford intended to offer a 200-miler. “When you look at some of the competitors and what they’ve announced, clearly that’s something we’re developing for,” said he.
Fields did not discuss a timeline. In fact, he did not unequivocally confirm that a next-gen EV is in the works. However, most of the auto media are interpreting his comments as a signal that Ford does not intend to be left out of the 200-mile club.
Automotive News expects Ford to call its new offering the Model E (so there, Tesla!) and assemble it at a new plant in Mexico, beginning in 2019. It will likely be offered in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric versions.