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Ford teases Mustang-inspired electric SUV as Tesla Model Y competitor

Ford is preparing to launch its first electric vehicle built to be electric from the ground up: a Mustang-inspired all-electric crossover, and now, the automaker is teasing it as a Tesla Model Y competitor.

Last year, Ford said that it was going ‘all-in’ on EVs following the ousting of CEO Mark Fields and appointment of Jim Hackett.

Hackett formed a new internal team, called ‘Team Edison’, to oversee electric car programs. He also shifted one-third of internal combustion engine investments to electric cars, but the company is still investing more in the former than the latter.

Ford confirmed that its first next-gen electric vehicle will be inspired by the Mustang.

They have been teasing the vehicle ever since and they had one more teaser that we missed last week.

When Tesla was unveiling Model Y last week, Ford sent out the following tweet:

According to an anonymous Ford executive speaking to CNBC, the tweet was directed at Tesla when the company was about to unveil its own electric crossover.

At the same time, CNBC talked to Ford President of Global Operations Joe Hinrichs who said that the electric vehicle will be in showrooms around the same time as Tesla’s Model Y:

“The company is moving quickly toward producing what it previously described as a “Mustang-inspired” all-electric SUV that will be in showrooms next year, about the same time Tesla begins to deliver the first Model Y battery-SUV.”

Not much is known about the vehicle at this point other than it will be a crossover inspired by the Mustang with a targeted range of 300 miles.

It doesn’t even have a name at this point.

The vehicle was first codenamed Mach 1, but Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets, confirmed that they dropped it after having a “strong reaction” from Mustang fans:

“We put that out there to evaluate it. There are pros and cons. I don’t want to handicap it at this point, but we got a very strong reaction from people.”

It has been rumored to be potentially called the ‘Model E’.

Tesla first wanted the call the Model 3 – Model E. It would have joined the models S and X in Tesla’s lineup to make “S-E-X” with the Model Y to follow later.

The name stuck for a while, but during the shareholders meeting in July 2014, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that the company had to drop its “Model E” trademark after Ford threatened to sue over having a similar naming scheme. At the time, Musk said that “Ford tried to kill sex.”

Musk was telling the story on stage moments after Ford sent out that tweet and the Detroit-based automaker could now aim to use the name for its own electric vehicle.

Earlier this year, Ford released the first image of the vehicle — pictured above — and the Mustang-inspired all-electric crossover is expected to hit the market as soon as next year.

Electrek’s Take

I wasn’t thinking of it like that, but now that Tesla unveiled the Model Y, it will likely be a direct competitor to Ford’s first EV.

Model Y is basically a higher and longer version of Model 3. Ford’s first EV sounds like it will be a higher and longer Mustang.

Ford is also referencing Mustang-like performance in its EV and Model Y’s performance version is certainly nothing to scoff at.

I think there could be an interesting competition brewing here and I like it. I want to see more competition pushing automakers to advertise their electric vehicles and increase awareness for EVs.

That’s what will push the market to the next level now that there are many compelling EVs available.

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