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Ford Planning Long-Range EV to Challenge Tesla, GM

Goal is to be “in a leadership position,” says CEO Fields

by on Apr.29, 2016

Ford is upping the range of the current Focus Electric to more than 100 miles for 2017.

Ford Motor Co. plans to join the ranks of automakers offering a battery-car capable of at least 200 miles per charge, said CEO Mark Fields, helping eliminate the so-called “range anxiety” that has many potential customers shying away from electric vehicles.

That’s a shift in strategy for Ford which decided to hold the range of the updated 2017 Focus Electric to just 100 miles. But a growing list of manufacturers are pushing to 200 miles or more, including Tesla, General Motors, Volkswagen and Audi.

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“We want to make sure that we’re either among the leaders or in a leadership position,” Fields said during a conference call with automotive analysts and reporters. “When you look at some of the competitors and what they’ve announced, clearly, that’s something we’re developing for.”

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Ford Trades Range for Price on New Focus EV

Execs don't believe the 200 miles is worth an extra $6k to buyers.

by on Apr.18, 2016

The 2017 Ford Focus EV will have a range of 100 miles, which is about 100 miles less than its competition.

As most of EV makers are following the go big or go home path when it comes to battery range, Ford is staying the course – or distance – when it comes to the next-generation Ford Focus EV: it will go about 100 miles before needing a charge.

Why? Money.

Electrifying!

The rationale was made apparent as Kevin Layden, Ford’s director for electrification, told attendees at the SAE World Congress in Detroit, said the company felt that extra 100 miles wasn’t worth the extra $6,000 it would cost potential owners. (more…)

Ford Offers Competitors Access to EV Patents

Detroit maker hiring 200 new engineers for battery-car efforts.

by on May.28, 2015

Ford's C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid is one of the maker's six electrified vehicles.

Ford is opening up its portfolio of patents and offering competitors access to those covering electric vehicle technologies. Just last year, Ford filed for 2,000 patents in the U.S., of which 400, or more than 20%, were related to EVs.

The move comes a year after CEO Elon Musk offered access to the patent portfolio of battery-carmaker Tesla Motors. Unlike the California start-up, Ford isn’t providing its intellectual property rights for free. But Ford’s move isn’t simply to get the licensing fees.

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“Innovation is our goal,” explained Kevin Layden, director, Ford Electrification Programs, in a news release. “The way to provide the best technology is through constant development and progress. By sharing our research with other companies, we will accelerate the growth of electrified vehicle technology and deliver even better products to customers.”

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Ford the Latest to Drop Battery Car Price

2014 Focus Electric base price dropped $4,000.

by on Jul.10, 2013

Ford has struggled to charge up consumer interest in its all-electric Focus Electric.

Ford Motor Co. becomes the latest automaker to slash pricing to try to boost sales of its slow-selling battery-car, the 2014 Focus Electric.

Sales of both battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, and plug-in hybrids have generally lagged proponents’ expectations prompting makers to drop base prices or increase incentives in the hope of luring more consumers into showrooms.

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Among other makers who have cut prices in recent months are Nissan, Chevrolet and Honda. Meanwhile, Toyota is increasing marketing efforts to revive demand for the conventional Prius hybrid after an unexpected sales skid during the first half of the year.

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