Well now, speaking of Rivian

Wow just mentioned them this morning in a post and now comes this interesting news tidbit:

Ford invests $500 million in Rivian!

The most interesting point about this is:

Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of automotive, will get a seat on Rivian’s board, but more importantly Ford will use Rivian’s battery EV platform to build a new Blue Oval-badged BEV.

Ars Technica

Granted Rivian isn’t producing anything just yet but still how long will it be before Ford launches a Rivian based vehicle? (5-10 years?? LOL)

Advertisements
Well now, speaking of Rivian

Have you seen one?

Have you? What am I asking here? A Model 3? No that is not the question here (although I am seeing more and more 3’s on the road now). No my question is with respect to EV advertising; specifically EV TV commercials?

Now if you’re in an area with a lot of EV’s (California, Washington–a CARB state) you’ve probably seen a lot of EV TV commercials. Here in Southeastern Michigan, home of the “Big 3” US automakers, I haven’t seen one in years until recently…

I think at one point in time I may have seen one of the national Leaf commercials as part of some national broadcast (most likely a national sporting event). As far as other EV’s we did see the quick 15 second Focus Electric commercial a few times (it was just someone driving across the desert to a charger and plugging it in; a very quick blink and you’ll miss it commercial).

I mention all this because for the past few weeks I’ve seen a lot of this commercial lately:

I-Pace commercial

Wow kudos to Jaguar for running an EV commercial in the Detroit area (I’m pretty sure its national but still I’m seeing this a lot). I wonder how much that will increase Jaguar’s I-Pace sales? (A lot of buying an EV is actually knowing that they are available and many consumers just don’t know they are around and available).

Its a funny commercial playing on how silent EV’s are. It still doesn’t beat this Focus Electric commercial, however:

LOL!

Have you seen one?

So what is up with Ford?

Its been a while since I’ve written (complained?) about Ford. Is there any news to speak of with Ford and EVs?

Why yes, yes there is. A few years ago Ford had promised big things about “electrifying” much of their fleet. In the interim they haven’t really shown anything other than a few notes here and there on announcements just to keep it in people’s minds (a sentence on a presentation, buying a train station!?, etc.).

Today, now, we have a Lincoln with a plug coming out, a hybrid Explorer, and now an announcement that there will be a BEV F-150 (yeah ok more bluster but there maybe something here…shall we dig).

This is rather big news that Ford is officially saying they will make a BEV F-150. Perhaps the fact that Tesla has sold a ton of Model 3’s and are poised to make a EV pickup “really soon now” (Tesla timeframe LOL).

Perhaps its that there is another EV pickup going to appear on the market in a year or so?

Oh wait there is more than one EV pickup coming to market soon (well ok one may be a bit further out than the other ! LOL).

The F-150 is Ford’s bread and butter. Taking on all competition and crushing them (even with new entries from leading competitors GM and RAM they are still outselling them). Now along comes a few upstarts, in the past Ford may have thought of them as simple gnats to be slapped away but its a brave new world now where an EV car can sell almost 140,000 copies in a year. You have to take every competitor seriously.

The trick, for Ford, is that the F-150 BEV has to be at least as compelling as the traditional F-150 or its going to fail against the competitors. Exciting times are ahead if you’re a EV fan and a pickup fan (personally I think Ford should also make a Ranger BEV; it may be a more compelling option).

So what is up with Ford?

Bolt size, looks

I’ve heard some comments that the Bolt has “that funky EV look”? Really, or are you predisposed to think it looks funky because it is an EV?

Lets compare its looks to a contemporary CUV from a competing manufacturer (yeah ok a Ford Escape LOL):

2018-06-10 09.48.092018-06-10 09.48.202018-06-10 09.48.35

Not that it really isn’t that much smaller, perhaps an inch or two smaller in height and length. The hood is definitely smaller which stands to reason since you don’t need that much room for the electric motor.

The roofline is about the same (and pretty much looks like all CUV’s these days). I’d argue that the rear window having a little bit more of an angle than the Escape gives it a slightly sportier look..but that is splitting hairs.

Interior wise: there is a lot less room for stuff in the hatchback but that may be because there is tons of legroom in the rear seat–much more than available in the Escape.

To my eyes it just looks like another on of the millions of CUV’s on the road–its most distinguishing feature is how they put the “Bolt EV” name above the front quarter panel.

 

Bolt size, looks

Time flies…

Here we are, February 2018 already. Wow its been 2 years since I turned in the FFE (and 5 years since I picked it up).

So far 2 years on the C-Max: I’m averaging about 800-1000 miles on a “tank” of gas (in winter I burn a little more to generate heat). This usually means I’m getting gas about once a month. Which isn’t too bad all things considered.

In Ford news they did up their commitment to 40 electrified vehicles by 2022 still, however, they haven’t shown a single prototype, rendering, or anything for that matter. This means that when my C-Max lease is up in a year there won’t be anything available from Ford with a plug (assuming they stop making the Focus Electric, C-Max Energi, and Fusion Energi when the Focus plant switches over to Ranger production this year–Focus production is moving overseas).

Given that I have to start looking elsewhere for an EV to lease. The most logical one to choose would be a Chevy Bolt EV (given that it is A) available, and B) a bit less expensive than a Tesla Model 3). To that end we have a vacation coming up…perhaps I’ll try to rent one…hmmm.

 

Time flies…

Fields out Hackett in

We woke up to some surprising news this morning: Ford has booted Mark Fields. Although this isn’t official from Ford yet. Fields has always been a car guy; been with Ford for almost 30 years. You could see that a lot of the Ford news over the past year was likely due to him (Focus RS, new GT, etc.).

It is interesting to note near the end of that article:

Executive back-biting and corporate intrigue, enduring staples of an Old Ford that Bill Ford once likened to czarist Russia, re-emerged as the gulf between expectations and financial results widened. Speculation of who might be in, or out, generally failed to capture the sweeping changes Ford’s directors were determined to take from a position of relative strength, not the weakness of 2006.

And, amid expectations that the automaker is on track to book some $9 billion in profits this year, Ford announced plans to offer 1,400 buyouts to salaried employees in North America and Asia — euphemistically described in a company statement as “people efficiencies” — even as it confirmed retention bonuses for four executives.

Wow, didn’t realize it got that bad. That would explain the lack of “show” from Ford these past few years as we’ve only got announcements and nothing to show for them (Ranger and Bronco coming back, new 300 mile EV by 2020..all announcements without anything to show for them not even a hacked up rendering to show what they could look like).

Even more telling is who they put in charge: A relative outsider who was briefly in charge of autonomous cars. Clearly where the board thinks the future (and, more likely, now!) is headed.

A big news day for Ford, time will tell if its the right move. Will things move faster now? Perhaps he’ll try to pull ahead some of the electrified vehicles? (Maybe they’ll have that 300 mile SUV done by the time my lease is up?? One can only hope.)

 

 

Fields out Hackett in

Old news is new news

 

Today Ford has been busy reiterating their commitment the electrified vehicles. Today on various social media platforms:

The funny thing about these posts: Many of the people replying to these posts have thought that they are in response to actions of the current administration. They don’t realize that Ford announced this direction over a six months ago now…long before the election (when everyone thought that it would be a different type of presidency).

 

Old news is new news