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Last month Ford Australia finally started to spill the beans on its local electrified vehicle strategy.
It followed Ford of Europe’s announcement that its entire passenger range, and two-thirds of its light-commercial range, would be fully electric by 2030.
While Ford’s United States home market is yet to commit to such bold targets, CEO Jim Farley said in August the uptake of new electric models had exceeded expectations and the company now expects that EVs will account for 40 to 50 per cent of all US sales by 2030.
Ford has also said it will build zero-emissions versions of its most popular models and it’s already started. The F-150 pick-up truck, Transit delivery van and Mustang sports car have already gone electric. And more are on the way.
Ford Australia’s announcement was light on detail, but the company confirmed it will launch five electrified models Down Under by 2025. The first full EV will be the E-Transit large commercial van in mid-2022.
There are a few electrified options in Ford’s existing global product portfolio, as well as some others in the pipeline that could end up in Australian showrooms.
Here is what we think are the most likely electrified models Ford will add to its local line-up come 2025.
The sleek all-electric coupe-style crossover is the first model in Ford’s plan to electrify its most popular nameplates. Rivals include the Tesla Model Y, Polestar 2 and Hyundai Ioniq 5, and it’s available in a number of grades with an electric driving range up to 610km.
Ford Australia president and CEO Andrew Birkic told journalists during the electrification announcement event that the Mustang Mach-E was “basically sold out” globally, and that it was not available for Australia. He added that his team would continue to push the case with his international colleagues.
Given that the Mustang Mach-E is one of few fully electric vehicles Ford builds for right-hand drive markets like the UK, it’s a good chance the Mach-E will eventually end up in Australian showrooms. Yes, it might take a couple of years once the initial heat of the launch dies down, but there’s a very strong chance the sexy EV will make it to Australia.
Ranger/Everest plug-in hybrid
But hybrid or plug-in hybrid variants are expected to be offered eventually for Ford’s biggest-selling model by a gigantic margin.
Considering the full-size F-Series pick-up and the freshly launched compact Maverick ute are both offered with hybrid power in the US, and given the increasing popularity of mid-size pick-ups in that market, it stands to reason that the next Ranger will be available with electrification.
With the new-gen model launching Down Under next year, the hybrid versions should land before 2025 to fit Ford’s timeline.
Ford/Volkswagen MEB small SUV
This future EV is an interesting proposition and definitely a chance for Australia.
Ford signed an agreement with Volkswagen to use the latter’s MEB electric vehicle platform to produce a new Ford-badged small SUV from 2023. Ford hasn’t revealed the new model yet, but it’s expected to be based on the VW ID.4.
While the European market is the focus for the mystery model, it should find its way to the UK, meaning right-hand drive production.
Puma mild hybrid
The Puma has been a winner for Ford in Australia. Replacing the unloved EcoSport as Ford’s light SUV, the Puma is a European model with an appealing design, sporty dynamics and a perky 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged engine.
While Ford Australia said there would be a focus on battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles as part of its 2025 rollout, Mr Birkic didn’t rule out the possibility that some of the models could be series hybrids or mild hybrids.
With that in mind, and taking into account the Puma’s popularity, the Puma mild hybrid has got to be on the shortlist.
The mild hybrid combines the 1.0-litre unit with a 48-volt battery and it’s offered in two states of tune – 92kW and 114kW. Fuel economy is rated at 4.2L/100km and 5.5L respectively.
Ford Australia announced that the E-Transit would be its first EV model, so this is no surprise.
Arriving mid-2022, the large van has a 68kWh battery and an electric driving range of 317km (WLTP), a figure Ford says is more than two-and-a-half times the average distance a commercial van travels every day.