Ford Confirms Electric Explorer, Lincoln Aviator, Instructions on EV Bronco

Electric vehicle launches between now and 2030 will be built on two new dedicated electric vehicle platforms. For context, every vehicle Ford makes today comes from one of five architectures. Ford expects 40 percent of its vehicles sold globally by 2030 will be battery-electric, so one EV platform is not enough to handle all of them, said Ford CEO Jim Farley.

Two New Dedicated EV Platforms for Ford

One of the architectures is a rear-wheel and all-wheel drive platform for “lifestyle” medium and commercial vehicles, said Hau Thai-Tang, head of product platform and operations officer.

It’s one that will tackle two- and three-row SUVs, including the fully electric Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, the company confirmed today. It will also support vehicles like the Bronco, Ranger, cargo vehicle, and other Lincoln products, once it gets the green light. While Ford is showing the outline of a Bronco-like vehicle, it shouldn’t be taken as an official confirmation. But CEO Jim Farley says the automaker will rock its most iconic vehicle — meaning the Bronco.

Ford expects one-third of the full-size truck segment in the US to be fully electric by 2030, representing more than 800,000 vehicles annually, and Ford is determined to win in this area.

“In the BEV era, Ford isn’t going to hand over truck leadership to anyone,” Lisa Drake, chief operating officer for North America, said.

Ford’s IonBoost Battery Is The Key To Success

The EV will use Ford’s proprietary high-nickel battery cell technology called IonBoost, which claims to be high density and less expensive. By mid-decade, when many mainstream EVs will launch, the cost will be around $100 per kW hour for batteries and that will drop to $80 by the end of the decade, Drake said.

Ford is also working on lithium-ion phosphate batteries for commercial vehicles that require less range but drain their batteries daily, and work is continuing on solid-state batteries that will increase range and reduce costs. The automaker thinks solid-state will be within reach this decade. These future batteries are being developed so they can use the same manufacturing process, allowing Ford to reuse about 70 percent of its capital investment in the lithium-ion line.

Next-generation EV architectures will be renowned for their battery pouches, as well as the state-of-the-art digital vehicles they support. It will be more connected and receive over-the-air updates with the advanced technology stack in both hardware and software terms, Farley said. The ability to provide over-the-air updates makes it possible to repair vehicles wirelessly but also update them and add new features and services, some free and some paid.

This development arose from the morning of a strategic update from Ford’s leadership to an audience of analysts.

Ford Is Spending More on EVs

Ford is increasing spending on EVs to more than $30 billion by 2025, up from an earlier pledge to spend $22 billion. The money will go towards the new electric model and the development of its IonBoost battery.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E crossover has enjoyed strong demand. It sold out in Europe and North America, with 70 percent of sales to new customers demonstrating the electrifying wisdom of iconic names, Drake said. It had a good launch and hit volume in a quarter. To meet demand, Ford secured more batteries and used its flexible manufacturing to increase capacity 70 percent two months into production.

In Europe, Ford has partnered with Volkswagen to provide a MEB platform for small and medium-sized electric vehicles in the region, with the first compact crossover expected in 2023.

Ford will also continue to work closely with electric vehicle startup Rivian and leverage the lessons learned from the partnership.

New EVs Won’t Replace Current Ford and Lincoln Vehicles

Ford doesn’t see its electric vehicles as a replacement for current models, but as an additional business that will only increase profitability as volume increases and Ford can use its scale to reduce costs, Farley said. Many of Ford’s future growth plans are centered on commercial vehicles. Ford created Ford Pro, a vehicle services and distribution business dedicated to these customers, which will be led by new CEO Ted Cannis.

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