Noting that the 2017 Ford Focus Electric will “satisfy a big chunk of the population,” with its 100-mile all-electric range, Ford electrification director Kevin Layden indicated that the Blue Oval won’t follow its competitors in pursuit of a 200-mile EV.
According to Automotive News, Layden said at a panel discussion at the SAE World Congress that the Focus Electric’s 100-mile range will allow the vehicle to keep weight and cost down. Ultimately, that comes down to a smaller, lighter battery pack that has limited range.
“It’s going to be really affordable and a step up from where we are now,” said Layden.
The 2017 Ford Focus Electric does see its range grow considerably from the prior 76-mile range, plus it has a new DC fast-charging system that allows it to charge up to 80 percent of its capacity within 30 minutes. But unlike most of its competition, including the Chevrolet Bolt, the next generation of the Nissan Leaf, and even the Tesla Model 3, the Focus Electric is considerably down on range. All of those models boast at least 200 miles of driving range, which many experts see as the magic threshold to quell owners’ range anxiety in day-to-day use.
Ford’s denial comes after AUTOMOBILE reported that Ford would launch a 200-mile EV to rival the Chevrolet Bolt.
Ford is planning to introduce 13 new vehicles with electric powertrains by 2020, which will include hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and all-electrics as part of a $4.5 billion investment. We’ll have to see if Ford changes its tune, but for now it seems the company doesn’t think most customers need the same 200 miles of range everyone else has agreed upon. Especially with the existing infrastructure of electric charge ports outside of the Tesla Supercharger network, it’s likely Ford will miss out on customers who are looking for a little extra range cushion, at least with the Focus Electric.
Keep an eye out for Ford’s future developments in EV technology, which could have additional range in the future.