Ford To Unveil 200-Mile Chevy Bolt Competitor Later This Year (Update)

3 years ago by Jay Cole 100

Report: Ford Is Rushing To Debut A 200 Mile Electric Vehicle Of Its Own. We Say, "the more the merrier"

Report: Ford Is Rushing To Debut A 200 Mile Electric Vehicle Of Its Own. We Say, “the more the merrier”

Joining the “quick, everyone play catch-up” game in the race to produce a 200 mile EV first, is the Ford Motor Company.

The Debut Of The Chevrolet Bolt Is Putting Pressure On Other OEMs To Not Get Left Behind

The Debut Of The Chevrolet Bolt Is Putting Pressure On Other OEMs To Not Get Left Behind

Automobile magazine says that the Detroit-based automaker has been spurred into action, and is rushing to show an affordable 200 mile concept of its on own under pressure from the recent debut of the Chevrolet Bolt – which is also confirmed to go into production late next year at GM’s Orion facility in Michigan.

Not a lot of additional details are available at this time, nor if Ford will be able to actually bring this long range, affordable 2nd generation EV to market in 2017 alongside the expected release of the Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt and next generation Nissan LEAF.

What is known however is that Ford is apparently scrambling to get the concept completed and onto an auto show stand near you.

Automobile says to not look for the 200 mile Ford next month at the New York Auto Show, but rather a fall release in Los Angeles is more likely.

Our take on the situation if true?  The more the merrier!

Update:  Like GM, who twice threw cold water on production rumor report on the Chevy Bolt (here and here) just weeks before they themselves announced production, Ford has broken its own ‘we don’t comment on future product’ policy and issued a statement casted doubt on the report:

“We do not comment on speculation but can confirm these reports are not accurate”- Ford spokesperson

The question now is, which part is not accurate?  We can’t help but note that similar to GM, Ford’s statement is pretty vague, and the company isn’t denying the long range EV flat out.  And really how can any company that wants to stay in the fully electric vehicle business not have a longer range EV in the works?

Automobile

 

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100 responses to "Ford To Unveil 200-Mile Chevy Bolt Competitor Later This Year (Update)"

  1. kdawg says:

    Kind of reminds me of a pinewood derby. Everyone gets the same starting ingredients, but competes to make the best car.

    I guess GM does make their own motors.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Well, if Ford doesn’t change their methodology, a 200 mile BEV will have zero trunk space. All their designs to date just retroactively fit their battery into existing platforms. That will be even more awful with a 200 mile BEV, so they’ll lose in the “best car” competition.

      1. Unplugged says:

        The “zero trunk space” trope is getting old. The Focus Electric has the same or better cargo space of the Leaf.

        Leaf rear hatch space:

        Focus Electric hatch space:

        Try something more original.

        1. John says:

          Regarding the storage space in the Focus EV.The rear seat bottoms can be folded up 60/40 to store very tall items. Also, when needed with the bottoms folded up the seat backs also 60/40 will fold down very low for other big stuff.

          1. Priusmaniac says:

            But that obviously doesn’t help when you need both the five seats and the cargo space, especially when going on vacation.

        2. James says:

          I saw one person demonstrate LEAF’s cargo carrying capability by putting a cello in the back, but truly – those battery pack obstructions look like two of my steel toolboxes end-to-end back there! True, some light groceries will be held in place conveniently that way, but try flat Costco boxes or anything like suitcases. It’s crazy in the way.

          Flat floor is the only way – and in the C-Max Energi, the enormous battery pack really cuts into load height. Sit on the back tailgaiting or relaxing? Nope! Haul any number of things that need taller space?
          Like a stroller, or maybe squeeze a mountain
          bike back there? Nope.

          This, “stuff a battery pack in an ICE and call it good” stuff truly needs to change.

        3. krona2k says:

          That is not the 2014 LEAF but one of the original Japanese built models. That big lump behind the seats no longer exists. It was the charger which now lives in the engine bay on top of the motor.

          The LEAF is quite a tall car. With the seats down there’s still quite a lot of space from the seats to the ceiling. I’ve transported a large boxed petrol lawnmower in my LEAF. It fit, but only just, was still impressive though.

        4. ClarksonCote says:

          Notice I didn’t say their existing EV’s had zero trunk space, though nobody can deny the space is reduced from the ICE version they’re cramming the batteries into.

          My point is that 200 miles worth of battery would cut into the cargo space a lot more, if the same approach were to be taken.

          While I’d like to state something “more original” this is a valid concern that Ford will need to address.

        5. Jay Donnaway says:

          Call it a trope if you like, but this happy Ford stockholder and F250 owner passed on the Focus EV in favor of the i-MiEV due in part to 50 cubes of flat-floored storage (more than an Escape)! Can your FFEV carry two 55 gallon drums or a dozen nested 32 gallon trash cans like the i-MiEV can? Though the FFEV has power for fun, torque steer was terrible. It’s a nice looking car, but terrible space utilization, and no DC fast charging. I see it as a compliance car with half-hearted wider distribution. (Compared with Mitsubishi’s global distribution supported by incompetent marketing.)

    2. DonC says:

      In addition to the motors, I’d be very surprised if the battery in the Bolt doesn’t contain proprietary elements.

      1. Stuart22 says:

        I thought I read somewhere that the Bolt battery has chemistry which is proprietary to GM.

        Ford has yet to committ to electrification, much of their ‘involvement’ is subcontracted out. I can’t see them competing shoulder to shoulder with GM on a 200 mile BEV.

        Until something more concrete is known, this rumor is pure poppycock.

    3. Kosh says:

      It does bring up interesting thought experiments about the commoditization of the electric drivetrain.
      Does it really matter if they all have the same (simple and reliable) electric motors in them?

    4. James says:

      Carmaker Soap Opera: “Meanwhile, in Dearborn – ”

      Enter Monday morning board meeting. Ted: “Wow, Frank, Mr. M really took some heat at the shareholders meeting for not having anything to counter the Bolt reveal at NAIAS!” Frank: “Yeah, it was brutal. Seems today’s topic is gonna be – get a BEV concept out ASAP!”

      Cut to Monday afternoon as Ted calls over to engineering and sets up a hasty meet with New Products lead. Ted: “Bob, we’re gonna have to pull that electronic cupholder team out of bldg. D and get them on some kinda 200 mile electric car scheme poste haste!” Bob: “Right on it, chief, we outta be able to have something worked out by Friday.” Ted:
      look man, Frank’s up my *ss in a big way on this thing – GM really made us look bad by announcing their compliance car when we didn’t even think of that yet – can you make it Wednesday?” Bob: Sure thing, Ted, I’m on it!”

      Thursday morning interdepartmental meeting-

      Ted takes the floor. Ted: “Welcome gentleman, I’ve called Bob in to explain our new 200 mile BEV strategy.” Bob: “Well, guys, our crack team has determined we can slap some LG packs on the Global C platform ( C-Max,Escape,Transit Connect ) and the boys over at modeling already have started on a futuristic CUV body we can slap on by the LA Auto Show!” ( Lots of clapping and back slapping ensues ). Frank and Ted: Well done Bob! At this rate, we can possibly get 10,000 or so out to dealers and tell America we’re leaders of the electric revolution!”

      Final scene –

      Ted, Frank and Bob all get into their chauffeured stretch Expedition on their way to the golf tournament smoking stogies and complimenting each other on their new plan to extend the electric car promise out to 2020 or so before hitting the hydrogen fuel cell promise for 2050 real, real hard.

      THE END

      1. Jeff Songster says:

        This sure sounds right about the way the fossils in Detroit are trying to manage the transition to less gassy autos.

        Just like Toyota jumping on the Fool cells… they are me- too-ing… I actually wish them well but fear that this is just more manoeuvering. Or possibly manure-veering.

  2. Josh Bryant says:

    Awesome news.

    Is LG building 10 new factories right now? I don’t understand where all these 50 kWh+ batteries are going to come from.

    1. Bonaire says:

      LG will react as needed. They make large cells. They don’t need hundreds of machines to create billions of cells. I am sure a car built with lots of 30 and 40 Ah cells is just as good as a car made with lots of 3Ah cells with some issues pertaining to single cell loss in a series.

      Now, the real interesting thing is just what is the future demand of EVs and plug-ins ongoing. I truly believe that we have a slow, steady growth ahead. Not hockey-stick demand. Not i-Phone growth curves. But somewhat slow and steady among interested parties.

      We have what looks like a negative Year over Year growth for February. But we have an industry that includes $7500 federal tax credits. And $5000 rebates in GA, $2000 in various states, $2500 in CA and no sales tax in OR and NJ, among others. Why isn’t the industry growing faster – that is my question.

      1. Brian says:

        Because the only “long range” car is the Tesla atm. Most of America cant plop down 70k for a car.

        Even with a Bolt, Leaf and Ford whatever, with no stable long range option nobody is going to break down the doors to buy them.

        So many people are in the frame of mind that they take weekly trips from LA to NYC they just wont buy a car that has no *charge here now* sign with large flashing lights on it.

        1. Bonaire says:

          The Volt is a great long range car. But they need to build a CUV version or whatever – that is the American marketplace. Chunkier cars bigger than the Volt. I cannot find a flaw in the design of the Volt other than the issue people say with a binary point of view “it’s not just electric” or “it’s not just ICE”. No, it is an electric car with range extender for no compromises driving. People use it with 90% or more electric miles. Can’t fault it for having both motor and engine and solving a vast majority of oil usage by the driver. My prior car was 25 mpg. Now, in the Volt I am up around 90 mpg. I cannot find a problem with that.

      2. Josh Bryant says:

        Its all about the products:

        GM had already decided to sacrifice the 2015 Volt for Volt 2.0 later this year.

        Toyota has pulled the plug on the current PiP, and it never fully backed it before (not stocking it nationwide).

        The SUV market is exploding, yet there is not a single plug-in SUV for sale 5 years after iMiev, Volt, and LEAF went on sale in the US.

        1. Josh Bryant says:

          Correction, one PHEV SUV just hit the market, Porsche Cayenne SE, not exactly a high volume vehicle.

          1. kdawg says:

            And hopefully the Outlander PHEV eventually.

            1. Josh Bryant says:

              The US launch has been the victim of its worldwide success. I really hope the Outlander isn’t the first PHEV SUV under $50k to hit the US market.

            2. Miggy says:

              Behind the Leaf the Outlander is the next best selling PHEV in the world and yet they do not sell in the USA as yet.
              http://ev-sales.blogspot.co.nz/2015/02/world-top-10-january-2015.html

              1. wavelet says:

                Apparently Mitsubushi were battery constrained and could sell every one they make in the existing markets, so the US launch (and regulatory qualification) have been delayed until production capacity was fixed.
                http://www.autoblog.com/2015/02/12/mitsubishi-expects-4000-outlander-phev-sales/

      3. Robb Stark says:

        LG Chem needs some machines to make large cells.

        The only difference between large and small cells is the wrapper.

        All the individual components inside one large 30 Ah cell is the same as 10 3h cells.

        LG Chem does not currently have the excess capacity to manufacture batteries for 60k long range BEVs in addition to the batteries they are selling now.

        Much less the capacity to also sell long range BEV batteries for their other clients like VW.

        1. Bonaire says:

          LG Chem is surprisingly open to adapting to the demands of customers. Their OEM client list is growing fast and they have both the Michigan plant (which was sorely under-utilized) and Korea. They could setup a plant elsewhere in the USA as demand rises. The whole rust-belt has empty space they could utilize. Who’s to say they do not already have extensive changes going on inside? I think they are a typical company that will react to and grow according to their selling needs.

          1. Robb Stark says:

            Of course we don’t know what we don’t know.

            They can go on a tremendous building spree.

            But usually they ask for government incentives to build new capacity and new plants.

            Which gets into the press.

            Which we would know about.

            Or neither GM nor Ford nor VW are serious about these 200 mile BEVs and no added capacity is needed. Only enough cells for compliance numbers.

            1. Breezy says:

              I think the Ford 200-mile EV will be similar to the Focus Electric; sold only in compliance car numbers. Ford, unlike GM, is on the record saying they don’t see much market for EVs.

      4. Mike989 says:

        Price of batteries projected to fall.
        Solid state batteries projected in 2 years.

        After that the EV components will cost less then ICE components. Then you’ll see Geometric Growth, because the automakers will want you to buy an EV, where they make more profit.

        Plus, EV’s have NO EPA requirements.
        A huge cost savings.

        1. Robb Stark says:

          Solid state BEV batteries are vaporware.

          Their viability has not been confirmed.

          Only battery scientist/CEO spouting stats unverified by third parties.

          I know, IP and trade secrets. That is what vaporware peddlers always say.

          If solid state batteries become mass market viable they will first appear in electronics then 6-10 years later in electric vehicles.

        2. Dr. Miguelito Loveless says:

          Well, i am skeptical about solid state batteries anytime before 2025 to be honest, a LOT of promise, but so far very little substance.

          As for automakers flocking to make EVs, not going to happen since a HUGE chunk of profits come from spare parts sales, parts that EVs don’t have so automakers can’t sell. There will not be a wholesale shift to BEVs until climate disasters become unignorable.

    2. Jesse Gurr says:

      LG Chem’s factory in Holland, MI should be able to produce enough for at least 20,000 Bolt or similar cars with more room for expansion at the factory. So it shouldn’t be a problem short term.

      1. Josh Bryant says:

        IIRC it was sized for 80k Volts. That would be 25k Bolts and no Volts.

        There will certainly be imported cells if Ford and GM are both building 20k – 30k “200 mile” EVs in addition to their PHEVs.

        1. Robb Stark says:

          It was sized for 60k Volts with room to double size manufacturing lines.

          1. Josh Bryant says:

            ok, so 120k Volts = ~40k “200 mile” EVs.

            I still don’t see the capacity to supply Volt, Bolt, Ford Energi line, and a Ford “200 mile” EV, unless these EVs are compliance only.

            1. Robb Stark says:

              If all this is true LG-Chem-GM need to announce expansion of their JV soon for Volt, Bolt, and Spark(which they said will continue) purposes.

              And Ford-LG-Chem should be announcing a JV soon.

              Same with VW Group and LG-Chem if VW is serious.

            2. Daniel says:

              That’s what the giga factory is for. Tesla will pick up the slack.

              1. Josh Bryant says:

                OEMs will build their packs around a single cell design. They can’t just swap LG large format cells for Tesla/Panasonic cylindrical without redesigning the entire battery and thermal management system. That is why there is over capacity at some battery plants (LG Chem and Nissan before) and others are scrambling to keep up (Tesla/Panasonic and Mitsubishi/Toshiba).

                I don’t see that happening at all.

    3. Jeff Songster says:

      They could do a joint venture with Nissan for some of it in their less than fully busy TN Battery assembly facility.

  3. Anon says:

    Hope they learned some lessons with their compliance FFE… Always got the sense they were hoping this “BEV-thing” would just go away.

    Well, it hasn’t. Sitting there with an un-updated conversion EV, has left them significantly behind.

  4. Scott Franco says:

    If Ford introduced a 100KW fast charge option as well, the car would be a serious competitor vs. just a me too car.

    As it is, its hard to see how Ford sees the bolt as serious competition considering they sell their current EVs with all the enthusiasm of vending dead fish.

    1. Anon says:

      True, but… Ouch! 😀

    2. Speculawyer says:

      What a we DO NOT NEED is a new charging system. They could just go CCS (as they promised) and throw in some money to deploy 100KW CCS chargers.

    3. Jeff Songster says:

      How about just a CHAdeMO or CCS. The reason I was not interested in a Ford Focus Electric was the lack of any quick charger ports. I don’t generally care which one wins the charger wars… but CHAdeMO is everywhere now compared with CCS. SO…

  5. ggpa says:

    It will be great if they specify the kWh, not only miles.

    1. Scott Franco says:

      Trust us, these are all 50KWH cars. The basic difference is the various lies they are willing to tell you about the range they expect from that.

      1. ggpa says:

        I hope you are right. 50 kWh would be a huge improvement over the 20-ish we have today.

        Do you have any source for the 50kWh number?

  6. Patrick says:

    I hope its a EV Mustang. I would be very interested in a good looking 2 door RWD coupe with 200 mile ev range

    1. kdawg says:

      How about a Taurus SHO.
      Offer it in a 2 door or 4 door.

  7. Ford Prefect says:

    It would be nice if it were something other than a Focus.

    1. John Hansen says:

      If the trunk weren’t severely compromised, the Focus would be a great platform. I agree than an option for an electric Escape would be nice too though.

      If I dared to dream, I would dream for a Fusion station wagon, but I know how car companies feel about selling station wagons in America.

      1. Mike989 says:

        When solid state batteries appear the space problem will be gone.

        1. Dr. Miguelito Loveless says:

          The latest article on SSB tech from MIT

          “Applied Materials hasn’t disclosed how much solid-state batteries made using its technology would cost, how much energy they would store, or how quickly they could be recharged. One perennial challenge with solid-state batteries has been that the solid electrolyte, which isn’t as conductive as liquid ones, tends to limit power output. Applied Materials says it is working on ways to improve that conductivity by doping the solid electrolyte, much as you would dope semiconductor materials for chips. The company is also working on ways to deposit the energy-storing materials faster, to enable thick layers that store large amounts of energy.”

          So, they won’t tell us ANY meaningful information about this technology. This means they are many years away from a viable product, a decade at least.

      2. Unplugged says:

        The old “zero trunk space” trope is getting really old. The cargo space of the Focus Electric is larger than the Leaf with the rear seats down and about the same with them up.

        Leaf rear hatch space:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9X0Mh1o9Yk
        Focus Electric hatch space:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ekl0AQfoS0

        Leaf – Cargo volume with rear seat up: 23.6 cubic feet
        With rear seat down: 30 cubic feet
        FFE- Cargo volume with rear seat up: 14.5
        With rear seat down: 33.9
        Hidden (for compressor and cord): 1.5

        1. QCO says:

          Nevertheless, people prefer a flat load floor, and FFE doesn’t deliver.

          Question is whether this rush job 200 mile car is based on a new platform designed to an support electric drivetrain, or another ICE platform conversion.

        2. Brian says:

          I personally could hardly care less what the cargo volume is in a car with the seats folded. I have carseats in the back, and only very rarely fold the seats down. MUCH more important is cargo space with the seats up, which the Leaf wins in spades. And if Ford simply puts 2.5x the battery in the trunk (to get from 80 miles to 200), the Focus will have practically ZERO cargo room.

          That said, I frequently do, (and will continue to) defend the CMax as having more useable trunk space than the Volt (based on my own experience). But that is due to the car being a much larger format to begin with. If the battery weren’t present, it wouldn’t even be an argument.

          1. Stuart22 says:

            I can put my 60cm road bicycle with wheels still locked onto the frame/fork into the back of my Volt. Can this be done with the Ford?

  8. Jesse` says:

    I figured this was their plan all along, its just happening sooner rather than later. FFE was just the toe in the water to test things out and hopefully improve. The next gen would have been better, with the combo AC/DC charger then the 200 mile after that. This is just making them skip a step.

    Ford has been alone in pushing for higher power on the combo standard. So hopefully they have something in the works. I guess we shall see sometime later.

  9. bennyd says:

    This is great news…would make sense if they use the more stylish Ford Focus sport platform.

    1. Ziv says:

      The Ford Fusion would be a great platform if they could put the battery pack under the cabin ala the Tesla S and, apparently, the Chevy Bolt. It would allow room for 60 kWh of conditioned pack and it would also give the driver a more commanding seating position.

      But the Fusion just switched from the CD3 platform to the CD4 platform 2 years ago so it will be 4 or 5 years before Ford will be building the Fusion on a new platform and I would guess the chances of fitting a flat pack battery pack under the cabin to approach zero.

      My wish is for the Ford Fusion Energi to somehow engineer in a pack large enough for a 35 mile AER, but yet again, I think the chance of that happening within 4 years is around zero. Too bad. They are very nice cars.

      1. Brian says:

        I know everyone clamors for more electric range, but I would be happy if they kept the some 20-mile AER, but freed up full use of the trunk. Bonus points if the rear seat can fold down like the standard Fusion.

        1. Nat says:

          It would be great if the Fusion Energi had a longer range and a smaller or differently located battery pack. I own a 2013 and love the car, although being first model it has had its issues. I have also had issues with Ford techs not knowing anything about the car, which makes the issues bigger than they should be. Also, depending on your driving habits, you can pull 25-28 miles on a charge. The rear seats do fold down flat in the Energi, you just can’t do anything because you only have a 4″ space to fit through the trunk…

      2. Josh Bryant says:

        I have been looking for an Escape Energi, really surprised they haven’t found that marriage yet.

        The Escape would be an unlikely candidate for the 200 mile EV, too much frontal area. I am hoping it is released as a stand alone model, not the Eco version of an existing model. That seems unlikely based on Fords past strategy.

        How about a 200 mile Ford Taurus SHO EV?

        1. kdawg says:

          Ha, that’s what I posted above at almost the exact same time.

          I think they’ll need to get the aerodynamics worked out though.

          1. Josh Bryant says:

            Haha, good thinking.

            I saw just put a bigger battery in it.

  10. Bret says:

    Hopefully, the new Ford EV will be attractive and have the promised 200 mile range. I believe the 19 mile AER is holding back sales of the Fusion and C-MAX Energi models.

  11. Brian says:

    Bring it on, Ford. Just make sure it has quick charging. And a usable trunk.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      +1 on the trunk comment! (See my response above to kdawg) 😉

  12. John says:

    Honestly, I think Ford and GM initially believed and even for some time hoped that the electric vehicle trend would prove a failure. And their recent announcements are their way of trying to catch up.

    At least that probably means they’ve realized evs aren’t going away, but it doesn’t yet prove a real commitment to them (if they had that, they’d be doing serious work on infrastructure).

    I hope they mature and get that commitment. And I hope they produce some great cars. But for now I’m waiting and I’ll believe it when I see it.

    1. Lou Grinzo says:

      You sound like you’ve been reading my mind.

      This is exactly my response to this, including the healthy skepticism about Ford, GM, FC, Toyota, and Honda and BEVs.

      But I’m convinced that no matter what individual companies do and on what schedule, we’re (finally!) starting to get some traction with electric cars, and the knee in the curve is dead ahead. Color me (sincerely) delirious.

    2. Regulus Black says:

      “I think Ford and GM initially believed and even for some time hoped that the electric vehicle trend would prove a failure.”

      I can confirm this. Read “The Great Race – The Global Quest for the Car of the Future” by Levi Tillemann.

    3. Daniel says:

      The manufacturers don’t need to build the infrastructure all they need to do is build the cars. Manufacturers did not build our current gas station infrastructure all they did was build a bunch of gasoline powered cars.

      1. Ya know, you’re right! There’s no reason for a company to change from what was done 100 years ago… just keep doing the same.

        Apparently, those idiots at Tesla didn’t get the memo. Can you believe those idiots, putting in a robust, very capable charging infrastructure. What a bunch of idiots.

        Everybody knows that’s not how you do it.

  13. Speculawyer says:

    I really wish we knew more. Ford’s first move was the Focus Electric that was a bit of a kludge conversion done by Magna. If Ford takes EVs seriously and designs something in house, it could be quite interesting.

    EVs are rolling. The automakers know that the current gas price crash is just temporary and they had better be ready for the next time gas prices shoot up and cheaper batteries are available.

    1. Unplugged says:

      Really? A “kludge” conversion. Considering that the only EV comparo by a car magazine that I know of rated the Focus Electric #2 and the exclusively electric Leaf as #4, I don’t think Ford did so bad.

      1. Jay says:

        +1. I love my FFE!

        1. FocusEV says:

          +2. I love mine too. Great car! I’ve driven a Leaf…pass!

    2. Daniel says:

      The Ford Focus Electric is the best looking e_v out there with exception of the Tesla Model S. and the Focus is at least as capable those cars in its class such as the Nissan Leaf.

      1. Brian says:

        Well, it WAS the second-best looking EV. Until the e-Golf arrived last fall.

      2. ClarksonCote says:

        Nothing wrong with your opinion, but for me it sure drives the point home that looks are subjective.

  14. DonC says:

    The Bolt has changed things considerably. If GM can create a BEV with a 200 mile range for $30K after credits then it becomes hard for other manufacturers to argue that the zero emission mandate can’t be met. Tick-tock.

    At least initially it will be hard for Ford to match GM. Since the battery in the Bolt presumably has some proprietary GM elements, you have to expect the Ford version to be less capable. GM also has a big lead in motor technology and far more experience with electrics. Without a battery breakthrough we’re looking at engineering prowess, and GM has the advantage there.

    The good thing is that the combination of GM, Ford, and Nissan all having a longer range BEV, coupled with the extensive charging network being rolled out by the major utilities, and California looks poised to take BEVs mainstream in the near future.

    1. Lou Grinzo says:

      Man oh man would I love to hear the discussions going on inside Honda and Toyota. I’ve long been convinced that even though those companies are staunch HFCV supporters in public, behind the scenes there is surely a vocal faction saying they should at a bare minimum give BEVs and PHEVs equal support. The Bolt announcement must have turned up the flame under those “discussions”, and this news from Ford has likely put things on a rolling boil.

  15. ModernMarvelFan says:

    GM’s Bolt really shocked the market enough that every GM competitor is jumping into the game themselves…

    1. kdawg says:

      Similar to what happened when the Volt was revealed in 2007.

      1. Brian says:

        +1

        Of course, GM is spurred to action by Tesla. At least they are paying it forward 😉

  16. Anthony Castro says:

    As a 2011 Leaf owner. I love knowing that I can expect my next car to have a longer range. But there are other things I really want in the current and next generation of electric cars.

    I’m listing SOME things I have not seen yet in any EV but would love for a company to engineer.

    1) A way to connect an EV to 2 110v outlets if a LV2 station isn’t available. At least the car could draw 2.6 kW from a garage using different 2 wall plugs. (about 10-12mph)

    2) An optional higher capacity charging system. Somewhere up to 10kW. (not many LV2 stations go past 6.6)

    3) Information on the dash that tells me HOW many Kwhs are left in the battery pack.(not just a range estimator) [I want to see”Oh I have 10Kwh left in my pack. oh wow, I could get 40 miles if I can stay around 4m/kwh”

    4) Front storage space and back storage space. *Tesla does this, why can’t anyone else?

    5) As an option, including the other quick charge standards in one car. (I know its a longshot)

    6) I wanna see EVs that could be upgraded to denser larger packs in the future when technology exists. Similar to upgrading hard drives on older computers

    My leaf only gives me about 15kwh of usable range now(61k). When the time comes to buy a replacement battery, I would like to upgrade to a 32kWh, 36kWh, or a 40kWh. Its been 4 years since the first Leaf came out. And there has been advancements in battery tech. If I buy an EV, I wanna know if I can upgrade it in a manner similar to computers with hard drives. Size them to fit.

    Anyone else want these things?

    1. DonC says:

      I think I’d go for a battery that doesn’t fade like snow in the spring. The Leaf battery is a total failure. Nissan should either put a TMS system in the Leaf or get out of the game.

    2. Josh Bryant says:

      Tesla offers 2 – 5 (adapters) and committed to 6. #1 isn’t possible unless you were on 2 circuits. Better off with a 240v outlet.

      I am guessing the main issue is the cost to get your wish list.

  17. M Hovis says:

    Hey Anthony!
    I’ll bite, starting with the easy one:
    #3. I think you will see that in the gen II.
    #5 I think it is more likely to have aftermarket adapters which should be OK and we can expect them shortly after the gen II launch
    #2 DC fast charging provides a path
    #6 Yes, I would love to see this too. If the volume is large enough, and there is a reasonable profit to be made, who knows. I have no clue whether the aftermarket can hack the info need to provide it if the OEM does not, but I will stop just wishing for #6.

  18. Forever green says:

    Anthony, you said, “If I buy an EV, I wanna know if I can upgrade it in a manner similar to computers with hard drives. Size them to fit.” I agree with that. I have a 2012
    Nissan leaf. At the end of my lease this summer I will be getting the 2016 Chevy Volt (on lease). I will only buy it if I know I can up grade the battery to one with more KWHs in the future.

    Ford would like to see this whole EV thing go away. Now look what GM is making them do. The hardest decision ford had to make now is, “which model can we stick some batteries into?”

  19. Nix says:

    This move to 200-mile BEV’s is certainly a move forward. But I’m betting these will all end up being 200 mile BEV’s only on the California CARB test (AKA the old EPA test). This will likely make them 160-170 mile range cars on the current EPA test, just like the current cars that were all called 100+ mile BEV’s, before they all got rated at around 80 miles or so.

  20. cmg186 says:

    According to the website Jalopnik, a Ford rep has denied this rumour. Sorry everyone! 🙁

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Yes Ford has made a statement (we have updated the story as well):

      —–“We do not comment on speculation but can confirm these reports are not accurate.”

      Now that being said, OEMs aren’t happy when plans like this come out early. GM who also has a “no comment on future product” policy also broke their silence on the Bolt.

      Jan 15th – When GM’s head of consumer affairs James Bell said that the Bolt was going into production and would be in showrooms in 2016 from the NAIAS in January – well in advance of GM’s announcement. We got this statement from the company:

      —–“The video, unfortunately is incorrect. James made a simple mistake after a long day of interviews. Chevrolet has not yet announced production of the Bolt EV…”

      Feb 8th – After the “report rumor” that the Bolt was indeed headed to production, and in Orion in the fall of 2016, we had this statement:

      —–“Bolt EV Concept is just that – a concept. We’re currently evaluating the vehicle program, but do not have any production announcements to make at this time.”

      Then on Feb 12th (4 days later) – GM announces the Bolt is headed to production…at the Orion plant (press here)

      What we now have to decide, is if we think this is also a Bolt 2.0 PR situation, but from Ford this time. Is there any chance Ford would “confirm” this story? No. Why would they bother to deny it, when they have a ‘no comment’ policy and don’t weight in on anything else? Odd.

      1. Djoni says:

        Good point!
        It ain’t over t’ill it’s over.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Really, the news Ford has a longer range EV planned isn’t surprising at all given the lead times you need to get a new offering to market. It is just exciting to see these cars start to materialize.

          The fact is, if you want to sell a BEV in the future (and the OEMs will have to sell a certain amount), it is going to have to have a lot more range than the 60-90 miles of today.

          The real news would be Ford saying they aren’t planning this car…which I think is what makes giving a statement a little odd. Didn’t understand it with GM before – don’t understand it now with Ford.

          1. QCO says:

            Could simply be confusion over the next generation Focus platform, which we often hear will be designed to support both electric and ICE drive train capability from day 1 (like the Golf).

            Inevitably a new electric Focus will have much greater range, and the new styling has to be teased at Auto shows soon since it is such a high volume product. Put those points together, combined with a need to respond to the Bolt, and there’s the rumour….

  21. James says:

    Carmaker Soap Opera: “Meanwhile, in Dearborn – ”

    Enter Monday morning board meeting. Ted: “Wow, Frank, Mr. M really took some heat at the shareholders meeting for not having anything to counter the Bolt reveal at NAIAS!” Frank: “Yeah, it was brutal. Seems today’s topic is gonna be – get a BEV concept out ASAP!”

    Cut to Monday afternoon as Ted calls over to engineering and sets up a hasty meet with New Products lead. Ted: “Bob, we’re gonna have to pull that electronic cupholder team out of bldg. D and get them on some kinda 200 mile electric car scheme poste haste!” Bob: “Right on it, chief, we outta be able to have something worked out by Friday.” Ted:
    look man, Frank’s up my *ss in a big way on this thing – GM really made us look bad by announcing their compliance car when we didn’t even think of that yet – can you make it Wednesday?” Bob: Sure thing, Ted, I’m on it!”

    Thursday morning interdepartmental meeting-

    Ted takes the floor. Ted: “Welcome gentleman, I’ve called Bob in to explain our new 200 mile BEV strategy.” Bob: “Well, guys, our crack team has determined we can slap some LG packs on the Global C platform ( C-Max,Escape,Transit Connect ) and the boys over at modeling already have started on a futuristic CUV body we can slap on by the LA Auto Show!” ( Lots of clapping and back slapping ensues ). Frank and Ted: Well done Bob! At this rate, we can possibly get 10,000 or so out to dealers and tell America we’re leaders of the electric revolution!”

    Final scene –

    Ted, Frank and Bob all get into their chauffeured stretch Expedition on their way to the golf tournament smoking stogies and complimenting each other on their new plan to extend the electric car promise out to 2020 or so before hitting the hydrogen fuel cell promise for 2050 real, real hard.

    THE END

  22. jack586 says:

    Ford is late in the game about this one. Ford has been making many bad moves lately and it’s catching up on them. It shows with their sales number and stock prices.