This Could Have Been You, GM

Photo: Ford

Ford and GM both had the same job at hand: get a mass-market EV into production, something that people will like. Ford responded by making an all-electric sporty crossover with a name everyone will recognize. GM made the Chevy Bolt.

I never understood why GM’s response to the rise of Tesla was the Bolt. Tesla showed the industry that what America wanted out of an EV was sharp, luxury design in a status-driven package. GM took stock of it, and instead, put a not-quite-compact hatchback into showrooms.

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GM took one look at Tesla’s upstart success and decided to make an electric Nissan Versa rival instead. What?

Ford’s Mustang Mach-E is not a perfect car. I, for one, am worried if the company that couldn’t even get the launch of the Explorer right will be able to get its first big time EV into customer hands without a lot of high-profile problems. Also its name is dumb. But it’s a sporty crossover and that is a perfect shot right at what American consumers want right now. We are gobbling up RAV4s and CR-Vs (both sitting just behind the Big 3's trucks in sales as noted by car sales site GoodCarBadCar) and Toyota and Honda aren’t even remotely close to selling all-electric cars in those molds. We are only now getting a RAV4 plug-in hybrid. From Toyota. The Prius company.

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GM, at least, seems to know it screwed up, and says that it will have some Bolt-based car on sale... at some point here in America. (GM does had an EV crossover at the moment! It’s just not going to be sold here.)

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There’s a lot that Ford could screw up about the Mach E, but at least it’s not starting off on the completely wrong foot. GM should be looking itself in the mirror right now.

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About the author

Raphael Orlove

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.