Ford Confirms 300-Mile Range Electric SUV, F-150 Hybrid and Mustang Hybrid – and More

On the first business day of the new year, Ford has announced something to please electric car fans, something for pickup and sports car enthusiasts, and it even threw a bone to incoming President Donald Trump.

Included in its plans are seven confirmed electrified vehicles due over the next five years out of 13 promised including new segment-opening models sure to make waves.

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It’s been believed for some time an F-150 Hybrid pickup is in the works, and along with confirmation for that, Ford is hybridizing its equally legendary Mustang while also introducing an all-electric SUV with 300 miles range due by 2020.

A plug-in hybrid Transit van, two hybrid police vehicles and a hybrid autonomous car were also announced today.

Bolt and Model 3 Competitor?

As for the new electric SUV with ostensibly more range than a Tesla Model X, it’s due by 2020.

A price point is not stated, nor whether it will be a large more-than-five passenger vehicle, but today’s announcement may tie to an obscure statement by President and CEO Mark Fields that Ford is planning to compete with the Chevy Bolt.

Ford is going beyond converted ICE cars like this Focus Electric.

Ford is going beyond converted ICE cars like this Focus Electric.

The Bolt is a “compact crossover” with 238 miles range as of today – and who knows what it could have by 2020?

For its part, and without supplying any images, Ford said the 2020 SUV will be “engineered to deliver an estimated range of at least 300 miles, to be built at the Flat Rock plant and sold in North America, Europe and Asia.”

SEE ALSO: How Many Sub-$40,000 / 200-Mile Range EVs Might We See In 2017?

This is on the U.S. EPA cycle, means a purpose-built EV, and that it will be an EV only was confirmed in an interview with Mike Levine, of Ford product communications.

Other details are to be announced later, Levine said.

New Pickup and Sports Car

Similarly, scant technical details or launch dates for the F-150 Hybrid was stated, short of the “next five year” timeline. Levine said Ford is not divulging more-specific powertrain or other stats at this time.

Ford in a statement does assure those who may be concerned the F-150 Hybrid will maintain “powerful towing and payload capacity,” and capability as an on-site generator. It did not say whether four wheel drive is part of the plan.

The 2.3-liter EcoBoost four cylinder itself packs 310 horses, 320 pounds-feet of torque.  Mated with electric motor power, this could have even more and this is therefore in league with some V8s, but gain, Ford is saying nothing today about the future hybrid's engine.

The 2.3-liter EcoBoost four cylinder itself packs 310 horses, 320 pounds-feet of torque. Mated with electric motor power, this could have even more and this is therefore in league with some V8s, but again, Ford is saying nothing today about the future hybrid’s engine.

The new Mustang, due by 2020, likewise is to not disappoint with “V8 power” and more than customary low-end torque. This “V8 power” does not necessarily mean a V8 engine will be mated to a hybrid system, and Ford has already long boasted of V8-like power for its turbocharged EcoBoost V6s.

Speaking of which, Ford announced today for the first time it will be departing from naturally aspirated engines in some of its new models and pair up turbocharged EcoBoost engines. Levine would not state whether a CVT transmission or multi-speed automatic would be used.

Ford does say EcoBoost will improve both performance and fuel economy. It does not say which vehicles will get the EcoBoost hybrid setup, but where power and performance are required, one might surmise a few of the new announcements today would be candidates.

Given even the new Ford GT supercar is a V6, odds are good that some displacement of V6 or even I4 will be utilized in the F-150 and/or Mustang Hybrids.

Appeasing the New President

Today’s plans are part of a $700 million investment plan “adding 700 direct new jobs in Flat Rock (Michigan) Assembly Plant.” In doing so, without explicitly stating as much, the automaker appears to be not just accomodating fuel economy rules, but possibly also the incoming president.

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The automaker had been targeted by President-elect Donald Trump for sending jobs to Mexico, but Ford, which had plans in motion already, today announced the investment in the U.S. factory “capable of producing high-tech electrified and autonomous vehicles” for Ford and Lincoln.

“This incremental investment in Flat Rock Assembly Plant comes from $1.6 billion the company previously had planned to invest in a new plant in Mexico,” said Ford in a statement.

“I am thrilled that we have been able to secure additional UAW-Ford jobs for American workers,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, National Ford Department. “The men and women of Flat Rock Assembly have shown a great commitment to manufacturing quality products, and we look forward to their continued success with a new generation of high-tech vehicles.”

Ford also said the $700 million is part of a previously announced $4.5 billion investment in “electrified vehicles” – a catchall term that includes hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric vehicles. Ford is expanding also into the mobility business, as it seeks to reinvent itself for new markets forecasted for growth in years ahead.

Other global models on the confirmed roster include a plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van, and “a high-volume autonomous vehicle designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing, starting in North America.”

This is to be a hybrid, and debut in 2021.

A couple other electrified vehicles confirmed today are hybrid police pursuit vehicles – meaning these will not be slow hybrids. One is to be built in Chicago, Ford notes without saying where the other is to be produced.

Electrified and Mobility Company

Ford added it is utilizing some of its many patents derived over the past two decades working on electrified vehicles for the new plug-in SUV, F-150, Mustang and more new vehicles.

“Ford’s global EV strategy is to build on our strengths,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president, Product Development, and chief technical officer. “While some others seem to be focused on marketing claims and numbers, we’re focused on providing customers even more of what they love about their Ford vehicles. This means more capability for trucks, more productivity for commercial vehicles and more performance for sports cars – plus improved fuel economy.”

SEE ALSO: Ford Leverages Its Past and Present Toward a Mobility Solutions Future

Nair did not spell out who among its competitors are more “focused on marketing claims and numbers” but to its credit, it is making sizable commitments to future product.

By contrast,. General Motors has played its hand closer to its chest. It has not announced a hybrid truck or Camaro, for example, nor has it announced an electric SUV in the works.

2017 Ford Transit Connect Hybrid Taxi Prototype

Ford also observed today it’s at work on testing new EV technology in Europe, and its Transit Custom plug-in hybrid will be on the road later this year, along with a new set of mobility services, telematics and connectivity solutions.

These go along with a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi and van prototypes in New York and other major U.S. cities.

EV-Focused

Ford is yet holding some card of its own close to its chest, and while broader EV plans are still a secret, it is saying that it is planning for more.

The company for example touts a new suite of services to make EVs more user friendly, and also unlike GM, it signed a memorandum of understanding to build an ultra-fast charging network in Europe. For that network, about 400 sites in Europe are initially planned.

By 2020, consumers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points,” said Ford.

And, beyond that, the company says it is preparing for more and studying what data it can.

Among 33,000 Ford EV owners that have made 58 million unique trips, Ford has learned:

◦ 88 percent of customers’ habitual daily driving distance is 60 miles or less. For plug-in hybrids, the average refueling distance is 680 miles, making gas station trips rare
◦ Customers want as much electric range as possible, but range anxiety drops over time as they become more comfortable and familiar with the technology
◦ 80 percent of Ford EV customers charge once a day; 60 percent during evenings
◦ Ford EV customers collectively have plugged in their vehicles a total of 9.4 million nights

And, said Ford, “an overwhelming majority of Ford EV owners expect to replace their current EV with a new one, additional Ford research shows.”

◦ 92 percent of battery electric car customers say they will purchase another battery electric vehicle as their next purchase
◦ 87 percent of plug-in hybrid customers want another plug-in for their next vehicle


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