Ford is developing an electric vehicle with a range of 200 miles, CEO Mark Fields confirmed today in a conference call with investors.
Fields provided few details, but the acknowledgement is significant given that Ford executives are usually reluctant to discuss future vehicles. He did not divulge details of the vehicle or timing.
Ford wants to make sure it is among the best, or the leader, in all categories, and that includes a 200-mile electric vehicle, Fields said. “Clearly it is something we are developing for.”
Ford has the Focus Electric compact car which improves its range to 100 miles for the 2017 model year — a feat Fields says is “competitive at its pricepoint.” Moreover, Ford had recently hinted that it thought that range was plenty for EVs.
But 200 miles seems to be the holy grail for electric vehicle range. General Motors is launching the Chevrolet Bolt this fall which will start at $37,500 and will be able to travel that distance between charges.
And Tesla‘s Model 3 will also be an affordable 200-miler but it is not slated for launch until late 2017, and if past history is an indication, it could be delayed beyond that timeframe. It is slated to start at $35,000. There is interest in an affordable electric car–at least if it is a Tesla–given that almost 400,000 would-be buyers have secured their place in line with a refundable $1,000 deposit.
Hyundai has the new Ioniq electric car coming early next year with a range of about 110 miles, similar to the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 and the Focus Electric. Nissan has said it will offer a 200-mile-range Leaf in 2018.
In December, Ford committed $4.5 billion to rejuvenate its electrified vehicle lineup with the goal of having 40 percent of the nameplates electrified.
AUTOMOBILE broke the news about a 200-mile Ford electric car in May 2015, though at the time Ford denied the story. At that point, the car was expected to launch by the end of 2015.