Tech

Ford teases new electric cars, hints at zero-emissions Bronco

The recently revived Bronco sport utility vehicle is begging for an electrified version.

Eastern Passage, Canada - January 10, 2021 - A 2021 Ford Bronco Sport awaits transport from the Autoport.
shaunl/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images

Following last week’s announcement of the all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck, Ford has released new information on its EV strategy, including a plan for electric cars to account for 40 percent of its vehicle lineup by 2030.

The automaker is using a flexible platform for electric vehicles that will underly its upcoming cars, including cargo vehicles, pickups, and rugged SUVs. While Ford didn’t offer much more than silhouettes of suggested vehicles, it told Electrek that the popular Explorer SUV is one of its brands that it intends to electrify. “We will continue playing to our strengths and electrify our icons in high-volume segments that we dominate today. We’ll share details later.”

A lot is left to the imagination. But Ford’s electric F-150 sticks with a traditional design, so expect its upcoming EVs to be similarly conservative. @mrlevine/Twitter

Bronco, please — The mention of rugged SUVs suggests that Ford intends to release an all-electric Bronco, the sport utility vehicle that it revived last year after being discontinued 25 years earlier. Critics were disappointed that the company released the new Bronco as a traditional gas combustion vehicle at such a crucial time for the green change movement. But a teaser video released at the time included some significant hints that an electric — or at least a hybrid — Bronco was in the works. Besides being eco-friendly, electrification could bring some significant performance gains to the Bronco.

Electrek citing a source says that the all-electric Explorer will arrive in 2023, as will another electric SUV under the Lincoln brand.

More options for car buyers are going to be important for the movement towards green energy. Not everyone may like Tesla’s designs, and trucks are the most popular vehicles in America, but heretofore there haven’t been any electric models available to consumers.

Less talk, more doing — Ford, like many legacy automakers, has faced up to the changing regulatory environment and announced ambitious plans to transition away from gas to battery-powered cars. Most of what we’ve seen has just been talk, however. The combined release of the Mach-E electric Mustang (a car that has seen a strong reception) with the announcement of the F-150 Lightning, slated to go on sale later this year at an aggressive $40,000 starting price, shows that the company’s efforts are starting to gain some momentum.

Its electric lineup is going to be thin until later in the decade, but with new truck sales holding strong, Ford probably has the profits it needs to make it through the transition on solid footing. Having existing revenue to fund EV development contributed to Tesla’s struggles until just recently.