Ford Developing Chevy Bolt, Tesla Model 3 Fighter

2016 Ford Focus Electric

Well, it sure took awhile, but Ford may finally be serious about building an electric vehicle to go up against the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3.

The company is “developing for” a long-range 200-mile EV according to CEO Mark Fields. He let the cat out of the bag during a first-quarter earnings call this week. Fields went a step further even, saying the automaker wants to be “among the leaders or in a leadership position” when it comes to EVs.

That’s something the automaker certainly isn’t in right now when it comes to alternative fuel vehicles. As Automotive News notes, this is the first time we’ve heard a top executive talking about a long-range Bolt or Model 3 fighter.

The new EV is being dubbed the “Model E”.  The company’s already applied to trademark the name. Automotive News reports Ford could start building it in 2019 at a new plant in Mexico. But so far, Fields isn’t dropping the official timeline.

Fields comments probably have a lot to do with Ford’s big electrification announcement back in December. That’s when the automaker announced it would spend $4.5 billion to build more electric cars. The automaker wants thirteen new EVs in its lineup within five years. Ford’s goal is 40 percent electrification by 2020.

Right now, Ford offers a few plug-in hybrids like the Fusion and C-Max Energi models. But they don’t have much battery-powered range. As in only around 20 miles. The all-electric Focus Electric offers a 76-mile range this year, although Ford claims the 2017 version will be good for 100 miles. Still, that’s half that of the Bolt, which promises a 200-mile range.

Tesla’s received over 300,000 pre-orders for its Model 3 which won’t go into production until next year. The new 2017 Chevy Bolt will hit showrooms later this year.  Pre-production models are now rolling off the line at the automaker’s Orion Township, Michigan assembly plant.

Photo Credit: Ford
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