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As automakers continue to tackle range anxiety in order to make electric vehicles more viable, the 200-mile mark has become somewhat of a reference point for every potential mass-market fully electric car. Currently, Tesla Motors is the only company selling electric cars that can travel over 200 miles on one charge, with many established automakers striving to achieve that kind of range.
General Motors has already announced that it will launch a 200-mile electric car in 2017, to rival Tesla's Model S sedan and the recently introduced Model 3, which is Tesla's first affordable, mass-market model. The Detroit-based company recently informed the public that the Chevy Bolt will enter production sometime next year, stating that it will boast a range of over 200 miles.
Now, there is yet another American car maker that aims to compete with Tesla and GM in the long-range electric vehicle segment, with media reports stating that Ford Motor is set to offer its own 200-mile EV in the near future.
CEO Confirms Change of Plans
A couple of weeks ago, a Ford official stated that the company did not have any intentions for building a 200-mile car, arguing that the 2017 Ford Focus Electric – offering a range of 100 miles – will be enough for the average U.S. driver.
But now, the car maker's CEO, Mark Fields, has said that Ford has changed its plans and has decided to introduce a model that would be able to rival the Chevy Bolt and the Model 3. As reported by Automotive News, Fields announced this decision during a first-quarter conference call, stating that the company aims to be “among the leaders or in a leadership position”, prompted by efforts from other automakers to produce long-range EVs.
“When you look at some of the competitors and what they've announced, clearly, that's something we're developing for,” Fields said.
While Fields did not provide any details on whether the announced 200-mile vehicle will be an electric version of an existing model, or Ford will build an entirely new model, auto industry observers believe that it will likely be the latter option. For a while now, there has been a lot of speculation that Ford plans to launch a new vehicle that will be called Model E, name that the company has already filed a trademark application for.
According to Automotive News, the future Model E will be offered in three variants: hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all electric.
No matter when Ford plans to launch a 200-mile EV, such a move will be inevitable for the Dearborn-based car manufacturer, and every other automaker that wants to be competitive in the future EV market, where long-range cars are expected to be the norm.