Ford Is About to Start Building Affordable EVs
The electrification of the auto industry is undeniable at this point. Most major automakers have committed to building one or more electric vehicles in the coming years. Ford dove in headfirst in 2019 with the release of its first EV, the Mustang Mach-E. In a recent earnings call covered by Wards Auto, Ford’s CEO Jim Farley stated that the company intends to stay away from the six-figure EV market and offer more affordable options.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is just the beginning
As deliveries for the Ford Mustang Mach-E are just around the corner, the American carmaker is just about to announce its second EV. The all-electric 2022 Ford Transit will make its global debut on November 12th. Given the amount of parcel delivery companies that employ Ford Transit’s as their main delivery van, the new Transit is Ford’s most important new EV.
Ford’s CEO stated that to service normal consumers, they want to stay away from building $100,000 EVs. Instead, they want to focus largely on catering to the $45,000 to $70,000 market. While the Mustang Mach-E already fits this description perfectly. The executive hinted that other EVs are on the way. Given the rumors surrounding the all-electric F-150, these new EVs may be electrified versions of standard models such as the Explorer, Edge, and Escape.
When will these new EVs arrive?
Unfortunately, there is no official timeline for the release of any of these new EVs. Thankfully, subtle clues indicate that some of these are likely already in development. Ford’s CEO stated that the company currently has four assembly plants in North America specifically designed to produce EVs. One of these is a completely new plant in Dearborn, Michigan.
As Mach-E deliveries are scheduled to begin toward the end of 2020, these plants are likely working around the clock. Since Ford opted to allow buyers to reserve and order their Mach-Es in advance, thousands of orders are likely to be fulfilled. Given that the Ford Transit EV is also a high-volume model, it will likely also go into production as quickly as possible.
If the Mach-E is anything to go by, it will likely take about a year from the point in which these new EVs debut until they reach customers’ hands. If this is the case, a 2021 debut could mean the earliest deliveries may take place in 2022.
Is $45,000 cheap enough?
Ford’s plan to build EVs priced from $45,000 to $70,000 leaves a major gap in the market. According to InsideEVs, Tesla recently announced its intent to build a $25,000 model as the world’s first truly affordable EV. Given Ford’s status as a major carmaker, it should also aim to build an EV closer to $20,000. Less than one month ago, Ford’s CEO pledge to build more affordable vehicles in general, with some falling close to the $20,000 mark.
To truly make waves in the EV market, Ford should combine its intents and produce a $20,000 EV. However, building an EV at such a low cost presents a unique set of challenges. EVs are currently quite expensive to manufacture thanks to the high cost of producing batteries. The result is that making a profitable cheap EV is quite challenging. On a positive note, if Tesla’s new planned affordable EV finds great success, more carmakers will be forced to follow suit and compete with affordable options.