Update: ‘First teaser’ section and ‘LFP or NMC Battery?’ sub-section of ‘Specifications’ updated and ‘Ford Puma sales’ section added.
In March 2022, Ford announced new details about its electrification strategy for Europe and, as part of that, confirmed the launch of the Ford Puma Electric. The Ford Puma EV will be the Blue Oval’s smallest electric SUV worldwide.
Here’s everything we know about the future Ford electric car.
Following the Ford Mustang Mach-E in 2021, the Ford E-Transit arrived in Europe this year. Beyond that, Ford has lined up seven new electric vehicle launches, the company said in an announcement on March 14, 2022. It plans to release all seven new EVs in Europe by 2024.
Three of the seven future Ford EVs are passenger models, and the rest are commercial vehicles. The first passenger EV will be a “five-seat, medium-sized crossover,” likely the technical cousin of the VW ID.4, and it will enter production at Ford’s Cologne plant (Germany) in 2023. A “sports crossover,” also built in Cologne (a derivative of the VW ID.5?), will follow in 2024, and during the same year, the Ford Puma Electric will become available.
On October 26, 2022, Ford released a video confirming the axing of the Fiesta. At the close of the clip, the company said that while this story (Fiesta) is concluding, a new one is beginning. Immediately after, a Puma drives out of a garage quietly, emitting a whirring sound, with a wallbox seen in the garage. The teased Puma sounds like an EV but looks identical to the gas-powered Puma ST-Line.
Ford hasn’t revealed the specifications of the Ford Puma Electric, but it has confirmed a 500 km (311 miles) range for the larger (medium-sized) EV due in 2023. The company could target a WLTP range of 450 km (280 miles) for the Puma EV, which will compete with the likes of the Peugeot e-2008, Opel Mokka-e, and the Jeep Avenger EV.
According to a report from Auto Express, the Ford Puma Electric will not ride on Volkswagen’s MEB platform or Ford’s own bespoke EV architecture found underneath the Mustang Mach-E. Rather, it will use an adapted version of Ford’s global B-platform (current architecture used for combustion variants) and borrow elements/modules from Ford’s electric vans. After all, the company plans to build it alongside the pure electric variants of the Transit Courier and Tourneo Courier vans. These electric vans will enter production the same year as the Puma Electric.
LFP or NMC Battery?
The Ford Puma EV could use battery packs consisting of LFP cells. Ford has confirmed that it plans to use CATL-made LFP battery packs with cell-to-pack technology in Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning in North America from 2023 and early 2024, respectively.
The iron-based cells are cheaper, safer, and longer-lasting than the more commonly used NMC cells. While the weight or range would not be class-leading, it probably wouldn’t be a deal-breaker to customers, given the SUV’s urban-focused design. Ford President and CEO Jim Farley has said that the company is developing LFP cells and sees them as “a big opportunity.” The more affordable technology will allow it to popularize its EVs in the market swiftly.
We’ve been working on LFP for quite some time, so let’s just leave it at that. What I mean by that is, engineering LFP solutions in our first generation of products something that we see is a big opportunity and to move quickly.Jim Farley, President and CEO, Ford (Q1 2022 earnings conference call on April 27, 2022)
|Aspect||Ford Puma Electric Specification (Expected)|
|Length||4.2 m (165.4 in.)|
|Width||1.8 m (70.9 in.)|
|Height||1.5 m (59.1 in.)|
|Wheelbase||2.6 m (102.4 in.)|
|Boot Space (folded rear)||1,216 L (42.9 cu. ft.)|
|No. of Motor(s)||One|
|Power||150 kW (201 hp)|
|Torque||300 Nm (221 lb.-ft.)|
|WLTP Range||450 km (280 mi)|
The Ford Puma Electric is expected to feature Ford SYNC 4A, its latest, cloud-based infotainment system. Already available in the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Ford Expedition, Ford Edge, and Ford F-150 Lightning, it is an upgraded version of Ford SYNC 4. It differs from the old in-car communication and entertainment system with a couple of features.
Unlike SYNC 4, SYNC 4A has interactive individual digital cards called ‘Adaptive Dash Cards’ instead of traditional menus. Users can scroll through and interact with a personally tailored collection of digital cards based on frequency or recentness of use. Cloud connectivity gives the new system more advanced route planning for enhanced navigation and a more human-like voice recognition system that can have conversations with the user. Lastly, the updated system has twice the power and processing speed.
Ford Puma Electric production
The production of the Ford Puma Electric will take place in Craiova, Romania, from 2024. The market launch of the pure electric variant of the company’s best-selling passenger vehicle in Europe should take place in the second half of that year.
Ford Otosan, a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Turkey’s Koc Holding, owned the Craiova plant. On the day it confirmed the Ford Puma Electric, the Blue Oval announced that Ford Otosan is the sole owner of the Craiova plant and manufacturing business. Ford is transferring the Romanian plant to the Turkish owner for an amount of EUR 575 million (USD 573 million).
Ford plans to manufacture the batteries for upcoming EVs in Europe to price them affordably. The company intends to form a tripartite joint venture company with SK On Co. Ltd. and Koc Holding to establish an EV battery production plant in Turkey. Located near Ankara, the joint venture plant will produce high-Nickel NMC cells from as early as mid-decade. The annual capacity of the factory is likely pegged at 30-45 GWh.
Ford’s EV goals
Ford expects to sell more than 600,000 EVs annually in Europe in 2026. The company expects to manufacture 1.2 million EVs at the Ford Cologne Electrification Centre over a six-year timeframe. It will convert the Cologne factory into an EV plant with a USD 2 billion investment and begin producing passenger EVs at the transformed facility in late 2023.
On June 22, 2022, Ford announced that it will build EVs on its next-gen EV architecture in Valencia, Spain. It is yet to approve the products utilizing the new architecture at the Spanish production site, though. The Blue Oval says that this architecture “is a critical step” in its transition to EVs in Europe.
Ford’s long-term goal in Europe is to switch entirely to EVs by 2030. Globally, the company aims to increase its annual electric vehicle production to more than 2 million EVs—about one-third of its volume—by 2026 and convert half of its volume to EVs by 2030.
Ford Puma sales
Sales of the Ford Puma are dropping in 2022. According to a report Ford Authority published on August 1, 2022, it ranked 20th in sales with 132,887 units in Europe in 2021. By June 2022, though, it slipped to the 33rd position on the region’s sales chart.
The Puma will become Ford’s new entry-level offering in Europe, once the Fiesta and EcoSport are discontinued. Here, the Puma will become the last Ford model in the region’s B-segment. However, the confirmation of its electric variant provides assurance that it has a future and quite a solid one, in fact, in the Blue Oval line-up.
The Puma EV should be a small electric SUV suitable for urban customers (private and business) with low running costs. While it may not be the glitziest launch of 2024, it could be one of the most efficient electric SUVs in its segment, and a release of significance as personal mobility in Europe transitions to EVs.
Ford Puma electric FAQs
What is the Ford Puma electric release date?
The pure-electric Ford Puma is slated to arrive in the European market by 2024.
What is the Ford Puma electric price?
The Ford Puma electric price may range between EUR 35,000-40,000 (USD 36,502-41,716).
What are Ford Puma electric rivals?
The SUV will lock horns against the MG4, VW ID.3, Kia Soul EV, Peugeot e-2008, and the Citroen e-C4.
Featured image: Ford