Ford To Make Electric Vehicles “Attainable To The Masses” – Video Interview With Ford CEO


Ford To Focus On EVs "Attainable To The Masses"

Ford To Focus On EVs “Attainable To The Masses”

Ford CEO Mark Fields states the following to Yahoo Finance’s Bianna Golodryga in this video embedded above:

“Clearly we have the capability to create electric vehicles.”

“Tesla has done a very good job of bringing electrified cars into the consciousness of the American people.”

Tesla’s approach is to cater to a high-end consumer.”

Fields claims that Ford will take a different approach by making sure its electrified vehicles are “attainable to the masses.”

“Attainable to the masses” sure sounds like Tesla’s plan with the Model 3, so while Tesla may be focusing on the high-end consumer right now, the future outlook is such that both Ford and Tesla (and other automakers) will all be competing in the same space.

Source: Yahoo Finance

Categories: Ford, Tesla


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51 Comments on "Ford To Make Electric Vehicles “Attainable To The Masses” – Video Interview With Ford CEO"

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Sorry Eric. I don’t think Ford will be directly competing with Tesla. I suspect the Model-III will be in the $50,000 range before incentives. Ford’s products seem to be focused on PHEVs almost half that price.

~$50k is likely to be the Average Selling Price of the Model 3 but the base price will be ~$35k and be a much better value to the masses than anything Ford will offer.

Fords EV’s and PHEV’s have quite a distance to get to $25,000! Would be nice to see that price in a 100 mile range EV from them.

Today it does not make sense to offer electric cars for the “masses”, but today electric cars are perfectly feasible in price category above $50k. This already is a huge market potential and we could well see ten fold expansion of EV markets.

The powers that be at Nissan may disagree with you. The Leaf (and similarly Focus EV) make excellent primary cars for multi-car households. And most households around me have 2+ cars in the driveway.

Without subsidies Nissan would sell less than 10 000 LEAF annually. It is ridiculously overpriced for small hatchback. But of course if you count that 10 000 dollar subsidy, then it is starting to make sense for about 5 % from hatchback markets. Still gasoline hatchbacks are selling 95:5 Nissan LEAF.

As a happy Leaf owner, I find your comment particularly ill-informed, to say the least.

I would like to second that, also as a LEAF owner.

I wonder if you were a LEAF owner if you had not received any government subsidies and you had been aware that you need a replacement battery after 7-9 years of driving?

Mr. Valkonen, This is Thomas J. Thias, speaking independantly on behalf of the surging Global Electric Fueled Vehicle Industry.
Feel free to chirp in on this forum or others, but when you post an IDIOTIC OPINION, I will squash it!

The Califirnia ZEV Statute requires a minimum warranty of 10 Years/ 150,000 mile for OEMs to sell product within the states borders. This goes for PZEV qualifying Chevy Volt Extended Range EV’s and Stunning Cadillac Extended Range Electric Luxury Coupes as well.

A Nissan LEAF Owner, since you mentioned it, an owner sin the spring of 2011, for instance, with its standard 8 years/ 100,000 mile warranty would have to wait till 2019 to start to get concerned if, at all about his/her’s Traction Battery!

Extended EV Traction Batter life, such as distributed energy and power back-up application are projected by ABB and others at 20 years or more, a quarter of a century, once the usable life of the car has expired.

Thomas J. Thias


Tesla may have done the most to raise EV awareness, but Fords biggest electrification concern at the moment has to be the Volt.

GM has just made a huge cost reduction investment for the Volt to be viable for the masses, and they’re likely to significantly ramp up advertising to match when the Volt 2 becomes available.

The Energi cars just look weak in comparison, plus they cost more and don’t qualify for the full tax credit. Ford needs to fill a growing hole in their traditional mass market segment.

And of course having a mass market Model 3 lurking in the background is of some concern to both Ford and GM.

“Tesla has done a very good job of bringing electrified cars into the consciousness of the American people.”
Tesla doesn’t just do electrified vehicles, they are electric. And that is something Ford isn’t all that successful with.

I think that you are mistaken for builds and sells more cars with electric motors than Tesla. Some of them are hybrids but all are eletric.

I’m well aware of what they sell, but the vagaries of what he says suggests they operate in the same market. They don’t.

Electric Car Guest Drive

Ford already builds, but practically hides, a very attractive “EV for the masses”, the Focus Electric. At an MSRP of $30k, and a TrueCar sales price of $26k *before $10k-$13k incentives* in some locales, it is the automotive deal of the century (tens of thousands of people happily pay $28k for the equivalent trim level Focus Titanium).

The gas savings alone make this a totally free car. It is outfitted like the Lexus RX 350 we got rid of.

Tell a friend.

Now if only Ford dealers would order them and educate the unwashed masses about the benefits of Ford electric vehicles and plug ins.

I beg your pardon. I wash daily.

And you are probably already educated as well. 🙂


I’ll agree that Ford could probably sell 3x to 5x more of these than they currently do if they just tried. But I’m not sure it could ever be an EV for the masses since it lacks both a range extender or any form of fast charging. It also has less EV range than a Leaf. So that means for the average person that they can’t easily venture more than about 30 miles from home with this car.

No question the FFE is a deal… And I regulary toy with the idea of getting one for fun.

But it has been more of an experiment for Ford using a pricey 3rd party drive train to gain EV field knowledge, which is why they do not push it widely. Out of the approx 3500 units sold, a large portion have spent weeks at the dealer resolving cabling and battery problems. The software fixes have improved but not fully resolved the issues. The regen isn’t quite right, causing unresolvable grabby brakes on some units. Many have been repurchased under lemon laws.

On the other hand, people who have some of the good ones really do like the FFE. It drives nicely and is very well equipped.

So it’s a bit of a crap shoot. Ford will have to keep fixing the cabling issues for the 8 year warranty period, but after that it becomes an orphan. It would make a good 2nd car, but too risky to be a primary vehicle given the long shop time to get it fixed.

“Out of the approx 3500 units sold, a large portion have spent weeks at the dealer resolving cabling and battery problems.” To be precise, there have been 4334 units sold through November 2014. To be even more precise, you are pulling figures out of your hat in saying “a large portion” of Focus Electrics have problems. Not even 1% reported issues and I dare say that Focus Electric owners are far more satisfied than any Focus gas owners.


Not sure where your 1% comes from, more than 43 cars (1%) have had major issues from what I hear.

It’s a great car, as long as it’s working right. If it isn’t, Ford will eventually fix it under warranty, but it takes a long time to diagnose and repair. Caveat emptor.

Looking forward to a future in-house effort with greater design integration and quality.

Well, I had a 2012 FFE for 17 weeks, 10 of which were spent inside the Ford dealer as they tried to fix it! The main batteries tested at fault, but, Ford would not replace them until several other possible parts were replaced first. Including the entire drive train.
I’m driving a C-Max Energi now, but, am still out a considerable amount of money on the whole deal and I believe Ford has poor quality control.

Unfortunately, the otherwise very nice Focus Electric is severely hampered by its complete lack of DCFC.

Or the lack of large cargo space, since the secondary pack severely intrudes inside the cabin…

I’ve had one for a year now and have had zero issues. It is about time for the first tire rotation. Actually the cargo space is in some ways better than other EVs because the bottom of the the rear seats can be flipped forward for hauling bigger and taller items. Sure more would be better but I have moved everything I own in it other than a couple of sofas. The rocking chairs was the hardest to fit in.

I leased one and love it. The only problems ar short range and cargo capacity. If Ford solves those issues I will never buy another car.



Hopefully Ford will bring back the Escape Hybrid PHEV soon.



Talk is cheap Ford so get busy.

Ford is talking about “electrified” cars. This does not even require the use of a plug – as Ford absolutely considers hybrids to be part of this group.

Ford has a decent formula with their Energi cars if they could only get the battery out of the trunk. At the same time, the CMax Energi does have about 2x the trunk space of a Chevy Volt (Cmax = 19cu.ft, Volt = 10cu.ft), so it’s not all bad news. (Yes, 2x a small number is still a small number).

That’s the problem. They ‘electrified’ a Focus. They’ve never built a pure EV from the ground up, and their resulting vehicle (FFE) highlights such a failed design ideology.

Your “failed design ideology” I assume only applies to the cargo space. Most EV owners don’t use their cars as pickup trucks.

On the other hand, I would consider a “failed design technology” to be an EV that makes no provision for battery cooling.

Perhaps he is referring to the fact it is a 3rd party drivetrain grafted onto a Focus ICE glider. Hardly the basis for a commerically successful high volume EV, which is why they don’t push it. It’s a learning experiment for a future in-house effort.


19 cu ft is larger than 10 cu ft.

But ONLY if it fits in a narrow, thin and tall box…

The shape of the trunk is pretty limited in my opinion…

I find it interesting that he made sure to use the term “electrification” as opposed to electric vehicles. As noted, their EV, the FFE, is pretty good and lacks only a QC option and a bigger trunk to be a very attractive car. At $26K before subsidies, it seems to be a steal, if you can do without the QC and the larger trunk. But Ford won’t push that car, is not (at least appears not to be)pushing full electric vehicles. Nothing wrong with a plug in hybrid(I drive a Volt myself), but I think they’ll need to diversify their offerings, add another 30 miles to the Fusion EV and C-Max Energy EV to really make a dent in the EV market. I do see all 3 of their electrified cars around here in Philly, more so the hybrids than the FFE, but only rarely. I think that they are going to be passed by Tesla, Nissan, Chevy and BMW, unable to catch up. Given Ford’s committment to plug in hybrid’s, I doubt we will see any real EV only push any time soon.

A true electric car for the masses ($20k) with 200+ miles of range will probably appear sometime in 2021-2025. That will require more advanced batteries (lighter/smaller/cheaper/stronger) and component price drops from mass production (400-500k units per year). Tesla could do this for their 3rd generation car.

Ford tends to swap two terms without fully understanding what they mean. “Electric vehicles” and “electrified vehicles” refer two distinct technology implantations:
1: “Electric vehicle” – having a pure “electric” drivetrain (BEV)
2: “Electrified vehicle” – a drivetrain that has been enhanced electric component integration (HEV, PHEV).

Examples from quotes above (and video) …

“Clearly we have the capability to create electric vehicles.”

“Tesla has done a very good job of bringing electrified cars into the consciousness of the American people.”

It would be nice to hear Ford say “plugin electric vehicles” (PEV) vs. electrified; as electrified sounds to much like “we tried”.

“1: “Electric vehicle” – having a pure “electric” drivetrain (BEV)
2: “Electrified vehicle” – a drivetrain that has been enhanced electric component integration (HEV, PHEV).”

That is the definition of the BEV purist with the narrowest definition on EVs.

Technically speaking, Electric vehicle should be anything with a plug and an electric powertrain.

Fuel Cell cars have pure electric powertrain.
Lithium air and alumnium air are both forms of “fuel cell”. Tesla even has a IP patent on the EV powered by battery and REx powered by Lithium air/alumnium air “battery”. In that sense, it is a series-hybrid, or aka PHEV.

In addition, EV by definition doesn’t even need a plug if the battery is swapped out when it is out of charge just like a flashlight.

If we are willing to short the term Gasoline-Electric Hybrid Vehicle into “hybrid”, then we should short the term “Battery Electric Vehicle” into Battery Car…

It would actually be nice to hear Ford say anything meaningful. This bloke speaks like a politician – he says a lot but is very careful to avoid actually saying anything concrete.

One of the things that’s so impressive about Elon is that he says what he thinks and believes. When he pauses, it’s because he’s looking for the best way to make things clearer. When this ‘bloke’ pauses, it’s its because he’s looking for the best way to avoid saying anything that might be seen to commit him to taking any particular course of action.

The interview was a bit over four minutes of total nothingness.

I’m willing to give Ford the benefit of the doubt since it takes 2-3 years of planning to bring any car to market. I would argue that the financial viability of EVs has only just been established by Tesla and Nissan in the past year or so. That means EVs are now on the radar of other manufacturers as serious contenders for 2-3 years from now. On the market now are “experiments” like the FFE, which I lease and LOVE! As a commuter it is amazing. It was never intended as a family vehicle or vacation vehicle.

If Ford could make such a d**n awesome car as a retro fit of an existing platform, what could they make when they redesign the entire platform for electrification?

Fingers crossed. Here’s waiting on you Ford.

I agree with your pragmatism. And I also believe Ford IS working on an in-house product that will benefit from the FFE learning experience, but it is still a few years away.

I enjoyed the recent management presentation of the Edsel introduction moreso than here.

At least there was concrete information there to hash around, as well as realistic dangers from the CEO. Turned out he was exactly right.

“Reliability will make or break this Introduction”.

The car was unreliable.

Another Mindless ‘financial business entertainment’ interview with all fluff, so meat.

Its Probably why Fields is enjoying himself here. The interviewer asks such dumb questions, that he doesn’t have to say anything, and just appear like he’s in charge, which he is.

When I hear news that any other auto manufacturer is building an electric car for the masses then I’ll be looking for news of their battery gigafactory. Without one or more of those then they are blowing hot air. How many cars = masses? Anyone know?

Ford can start with putting a DC quick charger in the Focus EV and getting the battery out of the trunk. You can charge a Leaf to 80% in less than 30 min. 3 hours for the Ford. The Ford is a better looking car, but who wants it without DC quick charging?