I often include Ford in my grouping of top 5 companies most serious about bringing electric cars to market. It sits at a questionable #5 behind Tesla, Nissan, BMW, and GM simply because it offers its Energi models to a wider portion of the population than most other electric car manufacturers, and priced them competitively enough that it ends up with decent sales. But, like I said, its position has generally been questionable, because it’s not clear Ford is actually all that serious about electric cars, and all of its models are just gasoline-powered models with batteries stuck inside. But it may really be earning its slot soon….
The Chevy Bolt is looking like it will be the first long-range, affordable electric car. GM unveiled it in January and quickly confirmed that it would produce it… even moving the beginning of production up to 2016 from 2017. It’s been huge news, and even prompted the Chicago Tribune to interview me about the present state of electric cars, and their potential future. I’m sure Tesla, Nissan, and BMW have taken note, but I really didn’t think Ford had anything up its sleeve to counter. In fact, it now seems that it does….
Word on the street is that Ford is going to unveil a Bolt competitor this year that will have over 200 miles of all-electric range. Naturally, we don’t have many details at this point, but that’s huge news in itself… if it’s true. If it is true, it means we have at least 5 car companies that are very serious about the EV revolution. Possibly throwing Volkswagen in there, we’ve got 6. The others are also building electric vehicles, but they act more like they are being dragged along, and I’d bet good money they lose market share in the car world in a pretty big way in the coming years.
Anyhow, we’ll have to wait to see if this Ford rumor is legit or not, and what exactly Ford unveils if it unveils anything.