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Is Ford falling behind in the electric car race? Why the Blue Oval needs the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning to take on Tesla, Hyundai and Toyota | Opinion – Car News

Before Ford announced plans for its first electric vehicle in Australia, there was an exciting buzz about which model it would be: the sporty Mustang Mach-E SUV? Or maybe the big, tough but smart ute F-150 Lightning?

The answer was none, it was the E-Transit, their battery electric commercial van. While there is certainly an important model for the brand and it caters to a growing market for commercial vehicles, it’s not the kind of exciting EV that other brands offer to successfully convert people to battery-powered driving.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Tesla Model Y, Polestar 2, and the upcoming Toyota bZ4x and Subaru Solterra are all models with broader appeal than a commercial van. Fortunately for the Blue Oval brand, it has such a vehicle waiting in the wings: the Mustang Mach-E.

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This is a sporty, electric SUV that would undoubtedly have wide appeal to an Australian market that loves both performance cars and SUVs, and a growing attraction to electric cars.

We were originally told that the demand for the Mach-E in the US left-hand drive market meant that right-hand drive production was not a priority. The Mach-E has since been available with the steering wheel on the correct side and is sold in the UK and will hit showrooms in New Zealand in 2023.

So why hasn’t it been locked down for an Australian release? It’s always hard to understand the decisions that are made internally in car company boardrooms, but all the evidence suggests it’s a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’ the Mach-E will hit Australian roads, and Ford Australia he is patiently waiting for his moment to confirm it.

Perhaps the brand is focused on the important launch of the new Ranger, Everest and Ranger Raptor, without a doubt its three most important models. And then the next-gen Mustang will be revealed in Detroit, so maybe once these big events are over, it’ll be the right time for the Mach-E to make its mark.

The Mach-E is still no closer to reaching Australian shores.

Still, it’s another difficult decision to understand from Ford Australia, because car companies are usually only hesitant to promote new models if they’re worried they’ll affect an existing offering. In the case of the Mach-E, the only sales it’s likely to affect are those of Hyundai, Kia, Tesla and others, and buyers are potentially looking forward to the Ford if they know it’s coming in the not-too-distant future.

Especially when you consider that Ford Australia has confirmed that it will have five electric vehicles by 2025 and we have a pretty good idea that the Mach-E will be one of them. The rest are expected to include the E-Transit, E-Transit Custom, Ranger plug-in hybrid and Everest PHEV.

Not revealing a detailed lineup of upcoming models isn’t unusual for automakers, so there’s nothing wrong with Ford Australia playing its cards close to its chest, so to speak.

The problem is that the brand is already in danger of falling behind in the electric vehicle race, despite having some exciting EVs on offer in other markets, including the F-150 Lightning and the planned model shared with Volkswagen ID fundamentals. .4.

The E-Transit will be Ford Australia’s first electric vehicle.

With the E-Transit delayed until 2023 and the Mach-E likely not arriving until late 2023 at the earliest, there’s a chance Ford won’t have multiple mainstream electric options on the Australian market until 2025. Other brands including Hyundai, Kia and Tesla are already there.

A strong argument can be made that Ford Australia is in the box to take the lead in electric utes, which could become a key battleground for the brands in Australia. The combination of the hybrid Ranger (again an open secret with no official confirmation from Ford) and the F-150 Lightning would break new ground in Australia and give the Blue Oval a unique selling point.

However, the chance of the F-150 Lightning making it to our shores apparently hinges heavily on the success of the locally operated F-150 conversion program the brand is currently working on ahead of the launch of gas-powered trucks in 2023. .

For one thing, Ford is perfectly positioned with the arrival of the new Ranger and Everest, the addition of the F-150 in 2023, and the eventual introduction of the new Mustang. But on the other hand, the brand cannot afford to ignore the growing electric vehicle market and fall behind…

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