Despite having not launched a new electric or electrified vehicle in more than five years, it’s important to remember that Ford can be innovative. When it wants to be. After all, Ford invented the pony car when it introduced the Mustang more than 50 years ago and helped to create the modern sport utility vehicle when it put a passenger car body on a Ranger pickup chassis and called it the Explorer. Since then, though, Ford seems content to waft along, buoyed by the hefty profits derived from selling light duty pickup trucks to suburban cowboys.
Two years ago, the company announced it was committing $4.5 billion to bring electric cars to market. The rest of the industry scoffed. Porsche is spending nearly that much “just” to develop the Mission E, after all!
The Ford announcement was viewed as a half-hearted attempt to keep investors happy while still cranking out fleets of F-150s and new Ranger pick up trucks. But the world of automobiles is not a placid playground where the profits go on forever. Entire nations are threatening to ban the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines in the not too distant future- and, despite a push to lower emissions and fuel economy standards in the US, those same countries are ratcheting up their requirements.