There's a (100-Mile) Ford in Your Future, But That's About It

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
theres a 100 mile ford in your future but thats about it

Ford Motor Company is hitting the brakes in the electric vehicle range war.

While competitors like Tesla and General Motors are busy preparing EVs with ranges of 200 miles or more, Ford is staying put at the 100-mile line, Automotive News has reported.

Though it plays well in the plug-in hybrid game with models like the C-Max and Fusion Energi, the automaker’s only “pure” EV — the Focus Electric — has lingered near the back of the pack in terms of range since debuting in 2012.

For 2017, the Focus Electric’s range grows from 76 miles to 100 miles, but beyond that lies a territory the automaker feels it doesn’t need to enter. The reason lies in the economics of the vehicle itself, as bigger battery packs add weight and cost.

100 miles is good enough for most, said Kevin Layden, Ford’s director of electrification programs and engineering, at last week’s SAE World Congress in Detroit.

“I think right now with the launch of the Focus Electric at 100 miles, it is going to satisfy a big chunk of the population,” Layden told a panel audience. “It’s going to be really affordable and a step up from where we are now.”

The 2016 Focus Electric has an MSRP of $29,170 before applicable government incentives, which would drop the price into the low twenty thousands. The Chevrolet Bolt, due out this fall with a range of 200-plus miles, is expected to retail for $30,000 after incentives. Tesla’s Model 3, scheduled for production late next year, will offer a range of 215 miles and a sticker price of $35,000.

By sticking with a commuter (not intercity) range, Ford’s biggest competitor remains the Nissan Leaf, which offers a newly upgraded range of 107 miles on higher trim levels (84 miles for base models) at a higher price than the Focus.

That relationship won’t last forever, as EV-hungry Nissan is planning a 200-mile Leaf for 2018.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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  • Brett Woods Brett Woods on Apr 18, 2016

    What I envision is a new Ranger truck. Take the popular old Ranger/B2000 body dimensions and style (post a picture of it with arrow above facing Left). 215/75/17 wheels. 8 inches ground clearance with integral not optional step. 8 inches suspension travel. Top range double number head lights. Standard snorkel, just a subtle raised intake on the passenger side. 2 litre V8 (over square 250cc dirt bike cylinder). 90kw electric motor integrated for all low speed duty. Simplified transmission. 70 inch x 44 inch x 3 inch battery integrated under the truck bed designed to slide out for upgrade. All surfaces treated and coated and undercarriage mostly enclosed w/polyethylene shell.

  • Brett Woods Brett Woods on Apr 19, 2016

    I'm still keen on a hybrid with a revvy 2L 8 cylinder w/ oversquare 250cc cylinders. While I'm still dreamin', throw in a crossplane crankshaft. I wouldn't even advertise anything about electric, or displacement. Only that it's an 8 cylinder. Proper full bench seat with real springs. Exhaust pipes under the controller and up behind the cab like a big rig. Keeps it seemingly with hardcore dipper credentials, only mpg accidentally starts with a 4.

  • Mike Beranek Yet another reason to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles charged with energy from wind & solar with modern, non-Monty Burns nuclear as a backup.
  • Tassos The cap the timid Western Europeans agreed to, a HIGH $60, which still lets Putin make a TON of billions of $, was way too HIGH. Ukraine correctly complained about this, it had asked for a $20 cap, I believe.
  • FreedMike "...I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath until fuel prices drop."Regular is $2.87 at my local gas station today. Considering that it was over four bucks this summer, I'd call that a drop. And it happened despite the Imaginary Pipeline still being canned. Imagine that. And I wonder if poor Slavuta has broken out the "will rap for food" sign yet.
  • THX1136 I would imagine the caps will have minimal impact. Putin is going to do what he wants to do regardless of how the citizens of his country fare.