Ford is announcing lots of things Wednesday morning, including reportedly two new dedicated EV platforms, in what sounds like an effort to really catch up to Tesla and keep pace with GM.
And while the official presentation is Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. (you can watch it here if you’re just that bored), Reuters’ sources gave them a preview of Ford’s plans. Those plans include the two platforms — one for crossovers and cars, the second for trucks and SUVs — in addition to a new, or maybe just different, battery strategy. Oh, and also, possibly, some cars:
The sources said Ford is planning to launch at least nine all-electric cars and crossovers and at least three electric trucks, vans and larger SUVs, including second-generation editions of the Ford F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E at mid-decade.
The new platforms could form the base of all-electric versions of the Lincoln Navigator, Ford Expedition, and, yes, Ford Mustang, and not just Mustang Mach-E. There isn’t much in the way of timeframe here, though one analyst predicts the new EV platform for cars could debut as soon as 2023. That is also when two new Ford EVs in Europe are planned, based on what seems like a third platform, itself based on Volkswagen’s Modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform.
The dedicated platforms will give Ford common architectures — including shared chassis components, electric motors and battery packs — on which to base many of its future EVs. That will enable it to simplify and reduce the expense of everything from logistics to manufacturing as it transitions from a global lineup of mostly fossil-fueled products.
I’m hoping that on Wednesday Ford simply says when the cars will get here and what they will be, but instead, I’m expecting a more detailed presentation that is meant to convince investors that Ford is keeping up with the EV joneses. So far it has sort of done that — Ford’s stock price has more than doubled in the past year — but Ford’s next challenge, aside from making its EVs good, is convincing investors there is a market for them.
Which brings me to the real question I wanted to ask in this blog, which is: What’s the over-under on how many Ford F-150 Lightings Ford will sell in its first year? Ford had nearly 50,000 reservations as of a couple of days ago, and surely a few more than that now, but also some percentage of those reservations won’t be converted to sales. Still, 50,000 sounds to me like the right number, anything less than that would be deeply worrying for Ford, while anything more, in my mind, and Ford should be overjoyed, even if that is a fraction of the 787,422 F-Series Ford sold last year.