Cut-price Ford electric ute, SUV coming to chase BYD, Tesla – report - SUV VEHICLE

Cut-price Ford electric ute, SUV coming to chase BYD, Tesla – report


Ford’s response to ever-cheaper Chinese electric cars is poised to be an SUV and ute duo, due one year after Tesla’s upcoming affordable model.

An upcoming range of budget-priced electric vehicles from Ford – designed to take on Tesla, as well as Chinese car makers such as BYD – is reportedly due to spawn an SUV and ute from 2026.

News agency Bloomberg reports Ford has delayed plans for a large seven-seat electric SUV to focus on a new electric-car platform underpinning a small SUV and ute – among other models – aimed at Chinese marques.

The first of the new vehicles is due in US showrooms in late 2026, it is reported, with a targeted entry price of $US25,000 – matching the expected price of Tesla’s upcoming small electric car, due to enter production in the US in late 2025.

It would be slightly more than half the price of a middle-of-the-range Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV in the US, which in Australia is priced from $86,990 plus on-road costs.

The price would also undercut the Chevrolet Bolt ($US26,500/$AU40,400), the current most affordable, mass-produced electric vehicle in the US.

Planned for the new budget-priced line-up is a compact SUV and “small” ute, according to Bloomberg, as well as “potentially, a vehicle that could be used for ride-hailing.”

The new vehicles are reportedly being developed by a ‘skunkworks’ team of fewer than 100 people, based in southern Los Angeles, California.

Leading the team is Alan Clarke, an engineer who joined Ford in 2022 after 12 years at Tesla, where he played a key role in the development of the top-selling Tesla Model Y SUV.

To help keep costs down, the new vehicles are planned to use lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries – said to be about 30 per cent cheaper than traditional lithium-ion packs – as used in Tesla, BYD and MG electric cars.

However, the US car giant is reportedly considering a switch to a different battery chemistry at a later date if it can lower the price further.

Ford CEO Jim Farley has “made it clear” the small electric vehicles must “turn a profit within a year of hitting the market,” after the company reported a $US40,000 ($AU61,000) loss on every electric vehicle it sold in 2023.

“We have decided pretty quickly to bet on smaller [electric-vehicle] platforms,” Mr Farley said in February, as quoted by Bloomberg.

“Since the middle of last year, we have assumed that we have to basically sell an [electric vehicle] at a hybrid premium — there is no more money for customers than that.”

He said: “If you cannot compete fair and square with the Chinese around the world, then 20 per cent to 30 per cent of your revenue is at risk. As the CEO of a company that had trouble competing with the Japanese and the South Koreans, we have to fix this problem.”

MORE:Search Used Ford Cars for Sale
MORE:Search Used Ford Cars for Sale


Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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