Ford's Happy with Half the EV Range of the Bolt and Model 3

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Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - April 19, 2016

The affordable-EV range war is in full force as Chevy and Tesla have set their sights on 200-plus miles of EV range. Heck, even Nissan is looking to boost the range of its Leaf to 200 miles in 2018. One automaker, however, is perfectly happy to stick in the 100-mile range, according to Automotive News.

For the 2017 model year, Ford will boost its Focus Electric from 76 miles of EV range to 100 miles, putting it about half the range of its upcoming competitors. While some may find this automotive suicide, Kevin Layden, Ford's director of electrification programs and engineering, said at the SAE World Congress that this is enough to “satisfy a big chunk of the population.” This is a stark contrast to what other industry experts said at the event, as most pointed toward a 200-mile range being the sweet spot.

Essentially, Ford is trying to play the “hey, we’re the cheaper alternative” card, which could be a massive success or failure. The big issue is if Ford plays this card too long, it could end up in the no-man’s land that the Mitsubishi i-Miev ended up in.

We feel that if Ford truly wants to be the cheaper alternative for buyers willing to sacrifice half the range, it will need to widen the pricing gap a bit and slowly trend upward in range as technology gets cheaper. This will require a delicate balancing act for many years, but it certainly is possible.

If you just cannot wait for these new models to come out, there are some amazing deals on EVs that are available today. For example, the 2016 Ford Focus Electric has a 36-month lease available for $169 per month with $1,999 due at signing. Alternatively, the 2016 Nissan Leaf has a 36-month lease that runs $209 per month with $2,399 due at signing.

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter | Website