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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
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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.

  • V8fairy Absolutely no, for the same reasons I would not have bought a German car in the late 1930's, and I am glad to see a number of other posters here share my moral scruples. Like EBFlex I try to avoid Chinese made goods as much as possible. The quality may also be iffy, but that is not my primary concern
  • Tsarcasm No, Japan only. Life costs by Rank:#1 - House (150k+)#2 - Education (30k+)#3 - Automobile (30k+) why waste hard earned money in inferior crap => Korean, Chinese, and American cars are trash. a toyota or honda will last twice as long.
  • Tassos In the 90s we hired a former PhD student and friend of mine, who 'worked' at GM "Research" labs, to come work for us as a 'temp' lecturer and get paid extra. He had no objection from GM, came during the day (around 2 PM), two hours drive round trip, plus the 1.5 hour lecture, twice weekly. (basically he goofed off two entire afternoons out of the five) He told me they gave him a different model new car every month, everything (even gas) paid. Instead of him paying parking, I told him to give me the cars and I drove them for those 90 mins, did my shopping etc. Almost ALL sucked, except the Eldo coupe with the Northstar. That was a nice engine with plenty of power (by 90s standards). One time they gave him the accursed Caddy Catera, which was as fun driving as having sex with a fish, AND to make it worse, the driver's door handle broke and my friend told me GM had to pay an arm and a leg to fix it, needed to replace almost the whole damned door!
  • 3-On-The-Tree I only buy Toyota cars. But if the Chinese cars are cheap people will buy them. They don’t care about the above issues that were stated in this forum.
  • Tassos Ford models are like dumb Hollywood movies. The original is far better than their god damned sequels. This was true of the Mustang vs the II, AND the Capri vs its second gen, and their BEV PORKER atrocities many decades later