Ford plans to reveal its first long-range battery-electric vehicle, a “Mustang-inspired” SUV, at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month, but it’s been tight-lipped about details.
One of its partners was a little more loose-lipped, however. In a press release announcing a new alliance with the Detroit automaker, charging company Electrify America offered up some significant information covering range and other details.
Among other things, it appears, there will be more than one battery pack available for the new battery-SUV, including an “extended” range version that can deliver more than 300 miles. It also appears that the new crossover will be available with both rear- and all-wheel-drive options.
The SUV, the Electrify American news release said, “has a targeted range of 300 miles with an extended battery and rear-wheel-drive (and will be available) in late 2020.”
Whether that information was originally meant to be included in Ford’s own announcement is uncertain, but it was not included and, once word began to spread, EA deleted that from its own news release.
“Ford will be releasing it’s all-new, Mustang-inspired electric SUV, that has a targeted EPA-estimated range of 300 miles with an extended battery and real-wheel-drive, in late 2020. The vehicle’s 150kW charging ability will allow very quick charging speeds on Electrify America’s 150 to 350 kW network. Ford estimates that it’s all-new, all-electric Mustang-inspired SUV will be capable to charge up to 47 miles in 10 minutes using Electrify America’s DC fast chargers, providing peace of mind for customers to be able to charge in minutes, not hours,” reads an excerpt from the charging company’s original news release.
The fact that Ford was aiming for something north of 300 miles is not a surprise. A company official earlier this year had hinted at a number as high as 315 miles per charge during an industry conference, noted Anton Wahlman, an analyst specializing in the electric vehicle market.
But this marks the first time that it has been revealed Ford will pick up a page from the Tesla playbook, offering both a standard battery pack and, at the least, an extended-range option, as well. We’ll likely have to wait until the L.A. unveiling to hear what the base version of the electric ute will offer.
The reference to a rear-drive model getting the maximum range suggests that Ford really did have the Mustang as inspiration for the new crossover. But there is little doubt that the battery-SUV also will be available in all-wheel-drive configuration, almost certainly with twin electric motors, one on each axle.
Among the questions this raises is whether the single motor on an RWD model would be larger than either of the twin motors on the AWD package.
The slip-up came as part of a broader announcement by Ford that it is partnering with both Electrify America – which is funded by $2 billion from the Volkswagen diesel emissions settlement – and Shell-owned Greenlots. Together, they will make available 12,000 charging stations across the U.S. and Canada, Ford claiming that is the largest public charging network in North America, with more than twice as many locations as found in the Tesla Supercharger network.
There are plenty of other questions yet to be answered about the new Ford SUV, including its name. It was originally teased at the 2018 North American International Auto Show using “Mach One.” There is some speculation it could be dubbed “Mach E” when it goes into production.
As for performance, with the Ford entry soon to be challenged by the upcoming Tesla Model Y, it will need to be quick to be taken seriously, something that is expected to mean a 0-60 sprint in the low to mid-3 second range.
When it comes to pricing, it likely also will target the Model Y, so that base version could come in somewhere in the very low $40,000 range, though the long-range, high-performance package would run somewhere up into $60,000 territory.
We expect to have more from Los Angeles – unless there’s another slip-up before then.