The return of the Ford Bronco is a craze. With Ford going on the record saying that it will make EV versions of its most iconic models, there’s growing speculation that an electric Bronco is in the works. —ad: Win an electric Ford Bronco here —
The Detroit News fanned the fires about a Bronco EV with a story today about the retro SUV’s reveal next week. The hometown newspaper mostly focused on the cult-like following of vintage Bronco enthusiasts.
Dave Pericak, director of enterprise product line management for Ford’s Icons division, said:
What we need to do is leverage that history, but interpret it in a way that is very relevant and modern for today.
What we believe we’ve done is that perfect mixture of nostalgia, but bringing in all that newness and technology.
Excuse me, but what’s more relevant and modern than an EV? If a Ford Mustang can be an EV, then why not a Bronco? Arguably, the Bronco is at least already an SUV. So it would have been the better match for a large electric sport-ute with off-road capability. There would be more than ample room for a giant battery pack.
Instead, when Ford reveals the family of three new Broncos, it will have to announce its internal-combustion fuel economy. Not exactly “relevant, modern, and new technology.”
Ford could have taken cues from how General Motors electrified the Hummer. Many of GM’s upcoming dozen or so new EVs are large badass vehicles. Meanwhile, Ford has only announced three EVs: the Mustang Mach-E, F-150, and the Transit Connect delivery van for Europe. The Volkswagen Group said it would introduce 75 new EVs by about 2028.
The bottom line is that Ford needs more EVs, especially now that the electric F-150 is delayed at least until 2022. An electric Bronco would harness the enthusiasm for that vintage nameplate, channeling it into an electric future.
Pericak responded to the Detroit News asking about a potential battery-powered Bronco:
Our iconic brands, we’re not shying away from them with electrification. We’re leaning into them.
No product is not considered at some point in time for electrification or some version of some propulsion system that would enhance its performance.
The double-negative aside, Pericak’s comments echo what Darren Palmer, the head of Ford’s Team Edison, told me in January.
Electric vehicles will amplify what’s important to our customers and what’s distinctly us. It’s very important to be true to yourself and what you’re good at.
I don’t think it’s a big secret we’re going to look at SUVs [to make into EVs]. We have some pretty strong SUVs. And then we keep going.
It doesn’t take much of an imagination to envision an electric Bronco. It’s one of the most popular models to convert from gas to EV. We recently highlighted an example brought to life by Zero Labs, using a Tesla battery pack. That 200-mile, 4WD model with a five-speed manual gearbox was the sweepstakes prize to support Big League Impact, an anti-poverty organization.
The official reveal of the new Ford Bronco will be next Monday July 13. The chances aren’t good, but could you imagine the buzz created by Ford announcing an EV version?
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