FOCUS ON: FORD
The Blue Oval was a little slow off the mark, but is now really gathering pace on EV
It’s fair to say that Ford hasn’t exactly been at the forefront of the move to electrification, but the signs are that one of the world’s biggest automotive brands is now definitely getting its act together.
Before the past 12 months, the only dabble into plug-ins was the low-key Focus Electric, but the Ford Transit Custom PHEV and the high-profile Mustang Mach-e full EV have both landed in recent months, following on from the Ford Kuga PHEV’s arrival a year ago to kick-start the move to electrification.
✪ STAR CAR ✪
WHAT IS IT?
Ford’s first serious full electric vehicle, the Mach-e slightly controversially takes the iconic branding and uses it on an electric SUV.
WHAT’S THE LINE-UP LIKE
The offering runs across two battery sizes, rear- or four-wheel drive and a total of five levels of horsepower, as well as four trim levels.
HOW QUICK IS IT?
Even the £41,000 entry model has 269hp and an 8.0-second 0-62mph acceleration time, dropping to just 3.7 seconds for the GT (pictured below).
WHATS THE RANGE?
All models have an official range figure of at least 248 miles, rising to a huge 379 miles on the Extended Range 98kWh version.
IS IT TAX-EFFICIENT?
Indeed. It sits in the 1% BiK band, so a 40% taxpayer will send between £14-£22 to the tax man every month, depending on which Mach-e they are driving.
Ford says 70% of its Mach-e customers so far are new to the Ford brand.
The Mustang Mach-e (see Star Car, right) is Ford’s first of a new breed of electric vehicles, and that line-up has recently been supplemented by a £67,000 range-topper that is described as Ford of Europe’s fastest ever five-seater. The Mustang Mach-e GT has 487hp as well as a high-performance Brembo braking system and adaptive suspension. It will accelerate from 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds. Indeed, at the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Mach-e was mixing it with classic touring cars on the timed hill climb. Ford also used the motorsport event to launch a PHEV Puma rally car, and a 1400hp Mustang Mach-e (above) designed as a test bed for future performance and competition EVs.
Both regular hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains feature prominently in the Ford line-up, with the Kuga PHEV starting things off last summer. The 225hp plug-in has an official range of 34 miles and a CO2 figure of 32g/km. It was joined earlier this year by a 190hp hybrid version that has the same system that is about to go into the Galaxy and S-Max models.
Ford has also deployed mild hybrid tech for small-scale emissions benefits across a range of models.
As well as the full range of light commercial vehicles being electrified by 2024 (see Coming Soon, below), Ford of Europe has said all of its passenger cars will offer a full electric or PHEV version by 2026, with the entire passenger car range all-EV by 2030. Worldwide, Ford is looking at a figure of 40% of new cars being EV in 2030.
That includes a new electric car to be built in Cologne in 2024, based on the electric Volkswagen platform as part of a joint agreement between the brands. A second electric model could join it, although details are still scarce
The electrification of Ford’s light commercial vehicle line-up will happen rapidly, with the full-size Transit first up.
It will come with a range of up to 217 miles, and trials are soon to begin ahead of the EV launching next year. The trials are set to include supermarkets, last-mile delivery firms and utility providers.
Ford has also already confirmed that its next Transit Custom will include an EV model when it goes into production in 2023, with the van and people-carrier versions both getting the option of an electric powertrain.
Another electric light commercial will also follow in 2024, built at Ford’s new plant in Romania.