Published on June 26th, 2012 | by Christopher DeMorro
Should Ford Build An Electric Mustang?
Electric cars are still in their infancy, and to be frank, they aren’t doing so hot. Save for the already-sold-out Tesla Model S, electric car sales have fallen off a steep cliff. It seems to me that the only people buying EV’s en masse are the uber-wealthy, which is what led me to this story about an all-electric Shelby GT500 Mustang. While Bill Ford Jr. has already dismissed the notion, an all-electric (or hybrid) Shelby Mustang makes more sense than some people might want to admit.
The Tesla Model S Performance, with its 85 kWh battery pack, can reach 0-60 mph in about 4.4 seconds, a top speed of 130 mph, and an EPA-certified range of 265 miles. The 2013 Shelby GT500 in comparison has a 0-60 mph of 3.5 seconds, a top speed of 202 MPH, and has fuel economy ratings of 15 city/24 highway. With a 15.8 gallon fuel tank, the Shelby has a theoretical range of 380 miles-ish.
The Green Performance Premium
So yes, the Shelby still holds the performance edge in every regard, including price; the Shelby GT500 starts around $55,000, while the Tesla Model S starts at $57,000 before tax credits, and the Tesla can be equipped to cost over $100,000 while the Shelby tops out around $75,000 or so. But my point here is that Tesla has sold out of its initial run of 6,500 all-electric sedans, many of which will be going for $80,000 or more. So while an all-electric Shelby GT500 might not be in the cards anytime soon, Tesla has definitely proven that a performance-oriented electric vehicle with plenty of luxury features to recommend can, and will, sell well.
If I was a betting man though, I’d say that the Blue Oval will leave the Mustang as a gas-powered vehicle, and may instead tinker with bringing back the Ford GT as an all-electric or hybridized supercar. Sure, that might turn some people off, but there is an obvious and wealthy market for electric cars, and Ford will want to tap into that market and get a piece of that pie if they’re smart. Maybe they’ll go with an all-electric Lincoln halo car instead? I could get down with that.
It Can Be Done…But Should It?
So, do I think Ford should build an all-electric Mustang? Yes, and no. I think such a vehicle might anger the masses of Mustang fans, no matter what kind of performance it delivered. But, if Ford were to develop an all-electric, rear-wheel drive car with performance aspirations and a driving range of 200+ miles, I they would find lots of buyers as long as they don’t call it a Mustang. Do you agree?