Report: Ford Model E to Be Offered as Crossover; Available as EV, PHEV, and Hybrid
Ford is rumored to be building its Tesla-fighting Model E at its small car assembly plant in San Luis Potosi by 2019 or so, which leads many to believe that Ford’s dedicated EV will be a sedan comparable to the Model 3.
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However, take note of Automotive News’ write-up on the Ford Model E on its Future Product Pipeline (emphasis ours):
Ford fought Tesla for the rights to the Model E name. That’s because it wants to use the name for what amounts to a family of compact vehicles with various levels of electrification. The Model E, available as a crossover as well as a car, will follow a strategy similar to that of the Hyundai Ioniq, which is to be offered as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and pure electric vehicle. The EV version is expected to have a range of about 200 miles per charge, a target CEO Mark Fields confirmed Ford is shooting for to challenge Tesla and the Chevrolet Bolt. Production is planned for the spring of 2019 in Mexico.
There is a lot to unpack here that was heretofore unexplored, but the most prominent point is that the Model E will also be offered as a crossover. Given Ford’s $4.5 billion investment toward the goal of creating 13 new electrified vehicles and its pledge to introduce four all-new SUVs to the market, both with 2020 deadlines, perhaps it should come as little surprise. Ford’s crossover sales have been strong in 2016 thanks to the popularity of the Edge and the new Escape, and Ford anticipates that sales of SUVs will account for 40% of all new vehicle sales by 2020.
A tech-heavy, fuel-efficient crossover would likely only bolster the potential reach of the Model E. The same could be said of offering it with three different powertrain options. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid capabilities would make the Model E a more versatile choice, and Ford has already shown that customers in big markets like LA are increasingly interested in alternative fuel vehicles.
Still, with a 2019-2020 timeframe for Model E production, there can be no certainty one way or the other. Either way, it’s fun to speculate.
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News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)