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Can Ford Compete with Tesla in the Electric Vehicle Segment?

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Electric vehicle segment

These days, auto industry dynamics are changing at a very fast pace. To stay ahead of the competition, automakers (VCR) need to innovate and implement faster than their competitors.

Companies such as Tesla (TSLA) and Nissan have already demonstrated the potential of the electric vehicle segment. In December 2015, Ford (F) also announced its plan to make an additional investment in electric vehicle solutions. In this article, we’ll review this plan and find out what to expect from Ford’s electric vehicles in the coming years.

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Ford’s electric vehicles

Currently, Ford’s electric vehicle segment presence is limited. The company produced its first full production electric vehicle, Ford Focus Electric, in late 2011. Initially, the electric car was only available for fleet customers in the United States. However, later in 2012, Ford started delivering it to retail customers as well.

According to the company, it has plans as to make additional investments to increase its electric vehicle presence in the coming years. These plans are as follows:

  • Ford plans to invest $4.5 billion in electric vehicle solutions by the year 2020. This will include the DC fast-charge capability. According to the company, it should deliver an 80% charge in an estimated 30 minutes and projected one-hundred-mile range.
  • The company also plans to expand its electric vehicle portfolio by adding 13 new electric vehicles by 2020.

This will be the company’s largest ever electrified vehicle investment within a five year period. At present, the company is taking orders for its 2016 Focus Electric with an MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) of $29,000.

The Focus Electric has a DC fast-charge capability as mentioned above. The production of this car is scheduled to begin toward the end of 2016. Overall, the success of the 2016 Focus Electric will be crucial in deciding the future of Ford’s electric vehicle segment.

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Competition for Ford’s electric vehicles

Tesla (TSLA) has already registered its success in the electric vehicle segment with its Model S. The addition of the Model X sports utility vehicle to its portfolio should enhance its reach going forward.

Ford’s electric vehicle range seems to be targeting the masses via lower pricing. However, Tesla also has a plan to unveil its first mass-market electric vehicle, the Model 3, on March 31, 2016.

General Motors (GM) also plans to begin producing its electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Bolt, by the end of 2016. These two car models could pose competition to Ford’s electric vehicles, especially in the US market.

Meanwhile, Japanese auto giants Toyota (TM) and Honda (HMC) have also shifted their focuses to the electric vehicle segment. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how Ford differentiates its electric vehicle range from the competition. Continue to the next article to find out how the One Ford plan has benefited the company.

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