Ford Jumps in with EV Mustang

November 18, 2019

New York Times:

Ford Motor’s latest offering seems like an oxymoron twice over: It’s a sport utility vehicle that’s electric … that’s a Mustang.

It’s also Detroit’s biggest bet yet on a mass-market future for battery-powered cars.

The big automakers have been producing hybrid and fully electric vehicles for years. But almost all have been smaller models that found limited demand. Even the manufacturers often referred to them as “compliance cars” — built to help meet environmental regulations while they mainly turned out big internal-combustion vehicles that sold well and made hefty profits.

European luxury-car makers like Jaguar, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have added electrified models — all S.U.V.s. Tesla, which has a fervent following, is on track to sell about 360,000 cars this year and is supposed to add a fourth model, a crossover vehicle, next year. 

But with the Mustang Mach E, unveiled Sunday and coming to showrooms next year, Ford is aiming to make an even bigger splash. It is taking a calculated risk that automakers can find a market for electric vehicles of the size Americans have come to prefer. (Almost half the nation’s auto sales now are S.U.V.s.) And it aims to persuade buyers to pay extra for battery power in an age of cheap gasoline.

“We’ve pushed all our chips to the middle of the table,” the company’s chairman, William C. Ford Jr., said in an interview. “I hope this will show we are now deadly serious about electrification.”

Ford is hoping some of the cachet of the original Mustang will rub off on the new model and boost demand for electric vehicles, which now represent just 2 percent of the market. Tesla has a commanding presence there now, accounting for almost 80 percent of nationwide sales of battery-powered vehicles last year. Tesla and its chief executive, Elon Musk, are expected to make headlines this week when Mr. Musk unveils an electric pickup truck. 

The Mustang, however, has its own fervent following, even now, 55 years after it was introduced. The sports car was unveiled to great fanfare at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, causing a sensation with its sleek design. Its long hood, short trunk and sloping roofline combined to make the car look as if it were rushing forward. (The new S.U.V. will also have a long hood and sloping roofline, but no trunk.) And its affordable price — under $2,400 (about $20,000 today) — resonated as American households began adding second cars to their driveways.

13 Responses to “Ford Jumps in with EV Mustang”

  1. jimbills Says:

    I take this as a sign that the future, barring an economic crash, is going to be EV dominated. But, this is still essentially a luxury vehicle. The majority won’t touch it. SUVs are in the $20K to $30K range, and this will be about $40-$50K. It’s essentially a copy of the Tesla Model Y in specs and price. I’d expect it to sell about the same as that vehicle. If Ford markets the heck out of it, maybe more. It will qualify for a tax credit for a while – Tesla is about to lose theirs.

    Speaking of SUVs and cheap gas:
    https://apnews.com/5942f5ef2c1540b48a77f4e6029e762d

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2019/oct/25/suvs-second-biggest-cause-of-emissions-rise-figures-reveal

    On the Robinson Meyer comment, there are also the carbon costs of actually building and transporting EVs. On 8% EVs by 2025, time will tell, but I suspect it’s optimistic. Tesla came close with the Model 3, Nissan closer with the LEAF, but there just isn’t the equivalent of a Ford Model T, an EV for the masses, either as yet or on the horizon. The Ford Mach-E isn’t out until late 2020/early 2021.

    • jimbills Says:

      Also, I know I’m Debbie Downer, but this has been in the news lately and deserves mentioning:
      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/rare-earth-elements-u-s-on-sidelines-in-race-for-metals-sitting-on-ocean-floor-60-minutes-60-minutes-2019-11-17/

      The environmental cost of ‘progress’ is never free.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        That was an excellent segment on 60 Minutes last night.

        Bill Whitaker (60 Minutes): “If you find that the environmental impact is severe, would this stop the project”?

        Kris Van Nijen (Man who wants to get rich by destroying the sea floor): “Absolutely”.

        Uh-huh! Just like we stopped burning fossil fuels when we discovered the environmental impact was severe.

        Sort of OT—-latest word is that a study says methane releases from COAL mines (active and inactive) are the equivalent of airplane and ship GHG emissions combined.

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        The environmental cost of ‘progress’ is never free.

        That was my first thought, then it occurred to me that, while the silt-raising may make life difficult for local sea life, it might also introduce more nutrients into down-current waters. That, and the ocean floor is pretty fücking expansive.

        I don’t expect it to be nearly as damaging as seafloor oil drilling or as extensively disruptive as trawlers dragging deep nets.

        • jimbills Says:

          Hmm. Did you see the machine that would be sent there from about 6:15 to 8:00 on the CBS video? Now imagine the entire area there being combed by those things. I’d say it’s likely to be at least as invasive as deep net trawling.

          The expansiveness of the ocean is no argument. I could chop down all the trees in Yellowstone and say it’s just a tiny fraction of the world’s trees.

          We think ‘clean energy’ is actually clean. It’s not. There are costs.

          But, of course, a denier could take the above as an excuse for oil drilling, etc., by thinking that since sea floor mining is likely bad then oil drilling and its impacts are acceptable. But that’s specious – besides the obvious that one bad thing doesn’t excuse another bad thing, there are degrees of environmental impact, and the emissions from the use of that oil, potential releases of that oil into the ocean, plus the impact of the drilling itself would almost certainly be worse than sea floor mining. There are degrees of damage, and it’s better to opt for less damage whenever possible.

          But, the Wood Mackenzie article I also linked to here indicates that despite a prediction of EVs growing to 40% to 50% of new car sales by 2040, we’re still looking at significantly higher oil usage in 2040 than we are today. So, really, both oil drilling and sea floor mining will happen simultaneously, given the world economy’s need for ever increasing growth.

          It’s verboten to question that growth path, and progress, however. We have to keep growing – our economy would crash without it. That progress brings us really cool things like an SUV Mustang, too. But the environmental costs of that growth and progress would be staring us in the face if we didn’t keep turning our backs to it.

          • jimbills Says:

            Clarifying the second to last paragraph above, the Wood Mackenzie analysis sees oil demand peaking in the mid-2030s (which corresponds with many other estimates) at 110 million barrels per day, then dropping to 109.5 million b/d by 2040. Today’s oil consumption is under 100 million b/d.

            It’s the math involved with growth. Even with half of the new cars being EVs, we’d still have over half of the fleet being ICE (new cars and the existing fleet), and with the growth in car sales leading up to 2040, it doesn’t equal out to actually reducing emissions by that time. It’d happen after that at some point, but talk about limiting temperature rise to less than 2 degrees C is just childish. With growth it ain’t gonna happen.

            Or, we can’t have our cake and eat it, too. We can have growth and progress, and that involves a future of EVs and a lot more solar and wind than we have now – but we’ll also have the environmental impacts with it (both from this new tech and all the impacts of older tech leading up to it).

            Not that we really have a choice – and that’s the really effed up part. We have to both grow and substitute FF with cleaner tech to keep a stable society going into the rest of this century.

            But the math is relentless, and we’re kidding ourselves to think otherwise.

    • jimbills Says:

      This is a year and a half old, but it’s an independent estimate of global EV growth and its impact on oil consumption, and it should be pointed out that this not at all a pessimistic prediction:

      https://www.woodmac.com/news/the-edge/electric-vehicles-transportation-disruptor-part-1/

      https://www.woodmac.com/news/the-edge/electric-vehicles–transportation-disruptor-part-2/

      “The critical threshold [for battery pack prices] is US$100/kWh – that’s when EVs will compete on commercial terms with ICE vehicles. We think we’ll get there by 2027.”

      “The Netherlands and Norway (2025), India and Germany (2030), China (2035), France and UK (2040) plan to end sales or registrations of ICE vehicles.

      If adhered to, these bans mean EV sales globally will reach 40% to 50% of total annual new car sales by 2040.”

      “How much oil demand will EVs displace?

      Around 5 to 6 million b/d by 2040 – about 5% of total oil demand.”

      My comment: The relentless mathematics of economic growth. I’m pointing this stuff out because we shouldn’t be surprised in 2025, 2035, or 2040, or whenever in the future, that somehow despite amazing growth in renewables and EVs, we still haven’t lowered carbon emissions significantly. It’s what being predicted now.

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      “It’s essentially a copy of the Tesla Model Y in specs and price.”

      And looks. Maybe the should call it something besides a Mustang, because it looks nothing like a Mustang. Maybe the “Y-akut”? (It’s a breed of horse)

      https://insideevs.com/photo/4513488/ford-mustang-mach-e-and-tesla-model-y-lead/

      Anyway, they can call it a Mustang or a Yustang if it help them sell more of them. Fine with me – and Elon Musk, too, who says he is excited about it.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        How about the Moostang, since it’s a a bit tubby compared to the original Mustangs. Leave it to the marketers—they think sticking a horse medallion on anything with wheels makes it more than what it is and a sure success. And What it is is a wasted effort at a niche that dies NOT need filling—-why didn’t they come up with a car for “everyman” in the $30K range instead? Oh, I forgot, they’re “marketers”.

        And if Musk is “excited”, it’s exactly for that reason—they stayed away from competing with the Model 3

  2. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Out on the road today I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac.


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