How Ford Could Beat Tesla in the Race To Bring Affordable EVs to the U.S.
Coming in hot on the heels of Tesla.
The race for an affordable EV is heating up. Ford revealed that it’s working on a “low-cost EV platform” that should lead to smaller EVs in its lineup. The automaker’s CEO, Jim Farley, said during Ford’s fourth-quarter earnings call that there was a “skunkworks” team created two years ago to devise this affordable EV platform. According to Farley, this platform would fit several types of vehicles but would also work with Ford’s software and services.
This move represents a big shift for Ford, which has so far released EVs with much larger footprints. Unlike the F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E, or even its E-Transit van, this upcoming EV platform could change Ford’s gears towards more compact, affordable all-electric options.
Can Ford Overtake Tesla?
This snippet from Ford’s CEO comes just after Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk revealed during its latest earnings call that it was planning to release a (potentially affordable) mass-produced EV sometime in 2025. It’s no coincidence since Farley even mentions that Tesla’s affordable EV would be one of its main competitors.
“All of our EV teams are ruthlessly focused on cost, and efficiency, in our EV products, because the ultimate competition is going to be the affordable Tesla and the Chinese OEMs," Farley said during the earnings call.
The most affordable model in Ford’s lineup currently is a $29,495 Ford Escape with a gas engine. However, we can’t forget that the now-discontinued Ford Fiesta had a starting price below $15,000. A step up at around $23,000, the Ford Fusion saw more than 300,000 models sold in both 2014 and 2015 before being discontinued in 2020.
We’d love to see Ford tap into its previous experience at these affordable price points and apply it to its future EVs. If that’s the case, this move could kickstart Ford’s momentum with EVs again, considering the automaker recently scaled back its F-150 Lightning production at its Dearborn, Michigan facility.
Still Working On It
Farley was sparse on details about this upcoming low-cost platform and the resulting EVs that would come out of it. That means there’s no release date or pricing info yet since there isn’t even an EV announced. We do know that this Ford startup has at least two years of developing the platform, but it’ll likely be a few more years before an actual release.
There’s no way that Ford doesn’t see the demand for a mass-produced EV at a reasonable price point. Currently, there aren’t many options when it comes to EVs around that $25,000 mark, with only the Chevy Bolt coming close at around $26,500. All of that means there’s a real opportunity for Ford to put out an EV for the more budget-oriented buyers before anyone else does.