The Ford Mustang Mach-E’s platform was rumored this year to form the basis for the first Lincoln electric SUV. Yesterday, the Blue Oval revealed that it plans to use it on its next EV.
On November 10, 2020, Ford announced that it will manufacture the Ford E-Transit electric van at its Kansas City Assembly Plant. In the announcement, Ford slipped in an interesting bit of information towards the end. It said that the company plans to manufacture one more electrified vehicle at its Cuautitlan Izcalli plant in Mexico, where it currently produces the Ford Mustang Mach-E. “The new vehicle will share a similar electrified platform as the Mustang Mach-E,” the company said. Ford is investing more than $11.5 billion in electrification through 2022, and this new EV should be a part of that program.
Ford didn’t reveal details about the new EV based on the Ford Mustang Mach-E platform. In all likeliness, this model would wear a Ford badge, and there are good chances of it being the entry-level SUV positioned to attract customers away from the Nissan Leaf or the Chevrolet Bolt.
Video Source: youtube.com/Ford Motor Company
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is a mid-size electric SUV measuring 186 inches in length, 74 inches in width and 63 inches in height. It has a 117-inch wheelbase. At 180.5 inches long, 72.9 inches wide and 64.4 inches tall, the VW ID.4, a compact electric SUV is a direct competitor. Its wheelbase measures 108.9 inches. The Nissan Ariya that is arriving stateside next year is 182.9 inches long, 74.8 inches wide and 65.4-65.7 inches tall (depending on the roof rack), and it has a 109.3 inch-long wheelbase.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E was initially priced from $43,895, but just recently, its prices were slashed and the entry price became $42,895. The VW ID.4 will cost $39,995 onwards at launch in early 2021, as it will initially come from the Zwickau plant (Germany). Volkswagen plans to cut its entry price down to around $35,000 when it starts manufacturing it locally, at the Chattanooga plant, in 2022. The Nissan Ariya’s prices are expected to start at around $40,000 when it arrives in the U.S. in fall 2021.
Affordable electric SUVs positioned below the Ford Mustang Mach-E in the U.S. market would include even a GM product from next year – the Chevrolet Bolt EUV. A compact electric SUV like the German and Japanese electric SUVs mentioned above, the Chevrolet Bolt EUV is scheduled to enter production in summer 2021 and it could also have a sub-$40,000 price tag in its base trim. Clearly, the market for compact electric SUVs is set to pick up in a year or two, and Ford must be having one of its own in the pipeline.
Achieving the compatibility for the Ford Mustang Mach-E’s production required the Cuautitlan Izcalli plant to undergo some significant changes. Ford manufactured the Fiesta here from 2010 to 2019, and the assembly of a BEV is quite different to that of an ICE vehicle. It took the company approximately one year to integrate new technologies and make the plant meet the requirements.
As part of the upgrade, the Cuautitlan Izcalli plant became the first Ford production facility globally to implement an artificial vision system. Thanks to its 190 Fanuc-type robots, 90% of the process can be automated. This plant has new stamping dies as well now, weighing between 20 and 40 tons, as well as a crane type gripper and two hooks that can lift up to 50 tons. The Mexican facility is also the first one to implement an anti-collision and anti-pendulum system in the cranes. These are only a few of the multitude of changes the Cuautitlan Izcalli plant has adopted to becoming ready to build pure electric vehicles.