Ford is working on a 200-mile range EV to compete with Chevy Bolt, Tesla Model 3
The more the merrier! That's exactly how I feel about electric cars. The real competition for EVs isn't other EVs, it's traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, and the more smart engineers and designers are working on making attractive, convenient, affordable, quality plug-in vehicles, the better. That's why it's great to hear that Ford is working on one of those 'holy grail' EVs (long-range, but affordable). The company has had many successes in the past few years, but sadly, they never seemed to push pure electrics quite as hard as some of their competitors.
The Focus Electric seemed promising when it was first announced, but sadly, it was only available in limited markets and small quantities (cumulative sales over the years are only about 4,000 units).
Hopefully they're thinking a lot bigger now: Automotive Magazine has learned that the company will unveil a new electric car that is designed to compete head-to-head with the recently announced Chevrolet Bolt (pictured below). This implies an electric driving range of about 200 miles, and a price tag of around $30,000 after incentives.
The New York Auto Show in April is probably too soon for an announcement, but the L.A. show in November could be the perfect venue for a new electric car, since California is the biggest market for them in the US.
It would also probably compete with Tesla's upcoming (±2017) mass-market model, the Model 3, though the Model 3 would probably be upmarket and more expensive, as well as with the next generation of the Nissan LEAF (which should have a longer range, and better styling).
What I'd really like to see is no punches pulled. There's often the impression with established automakers that they don't want to cannibalize their other sales with EVs, so they make them too "niche". For example, Nissan would probably be selling more EVs if they also had an all-electric Sentra or Altima, rather than the LEAF alone (which is great, but doesn't appeal to everyone).
If Ford made a new all electric vehicle that looked like a Focus or a Fusion, it would probably have wide appeal and sell well. This could help them leapfrog GM's Bolt; while we don't know what it'll look like yet, the concept version (pictured here) looks similar to the LEAF, which is not the most popular configuration in the US (small hatches are a lot more convenient and space-efficient and I love them, but for some reason Americans don't see things the way I do).
Update: Ford wrote to say "We do not comment on speculation but can confirm these reports are not accurate." What's not accurate? They wouldn't say. Is it the details (not 200 miles of range? Not around $30k after incentives?), or is it the whole thing (not really working on a new EV at all)? We don't know...
Nissan UK/Promo image