Automotive awards

Ford Mustang Mach-E named EV of the Year

The Mach-E won Car & Driver's inaugural EV of the Year Award

Ford

The electric vehicle revolution is here, and it's turning out to be more exciting than most people probably expected. The EVs of today are quick, sometimes luxurious, and can offer range numbers that extend hundreds of miles on a charge. Ford, one of the world's oldest automakers, arrived with an EV of its own this year, the Mustang Mach-E. Regardless of whether you feel it's worthy of the Mustang name or not, there's no denying that it's a special vehicle. Auto journalists recognize that, too, as it just won Electric Vehicle of the Year from Car & Driver.

This year is Car & Driver's first EV of the Year Award, but with all the action in the marketplace, it's certainly not going to be the last. In the next year alone, we'll see new offerings from Rivian, Ford, General Motors, and others, and that doesn't take any of today's excellent vehicles into account.


Ford Mustang Mach-E The Mach-E beat out several other big-name EVs to take the award.Ford


The C&D test included 11 EVs and took place over a three-week period. Each vehicle was subjected to a 1,000-mile road trip to evaluate its performance in the real world. The tests use the same criteria as the publications ten-best awards, which means it has to offer great and engaging driving experience, be practical or offer incredible value, and must fulfill its mission better than its competitors. Beyond the Mustang Mach-E, the test included:

  • Audi e-tron
  • Kia Niro
  • Nissan Leaf Plus
  • Polestar 2
  • Porsche Taycan
  • Tesla Model 3 Performance
  • Tesla Model S Long Range Plus
  • Tesla Model Y Performance
  • Volkswagen ID.4
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge

The C&D award is a nice feather in the cap for Ford, but the Mustang Mach-E is no stranger to accolades. In addition to the EV of the Year Award, the vehicle has picked up the C&D Editor's Choice Award, the Cars.com Eco-Friendly Car of the Year Award, AutoGuide's Utility of the Year, a Car Buyer's Award from Autoweek, and Green Vehicle of the Year.


Ford Mustang Mach-E The Mustang Mach-E is on sale now.Ford

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Biden will target 50 percent of all vehicle sales for EVs by 2030.

Ford

In the last several months, we've seen automakers from all corners of the globe commit to some degree of electrification by the end of the decade and beyond. That includes the American Big Three: Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, others). Today, President Joe Biden plans to throw his weight behind these efforts by signing an executive order that sets a goal of pushing the sales of zero-emissions vehicles to half of all vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030.

Biden's target is not legally binding, but the industry is already jumping on board. In a joint statement, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis confirmed that they aim to hit an EV sales volume of 40-50 percent annually. It's worth noting that the President's 50 percent goal and the automakers' sales targets also include plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use a traditional gasoline engine.


Jeep PHEV The target also includes plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use gas engines.Jeep


Auto unions and dealers are not opposed to the ambitious roadmaps laid out by the Big Three, but both have differing views on what is essential and how things will ultimately play out. While aware of the goals, the UAW is focused on wage growth and the preservation of jobs and benefits. It feels that an increase in EV production volume must happen here in the U.S. to include good-paying American union jobs.

Dealers, to a degree, are supportive of the goals but skeptical of their ultimate success. Some feel that electric vehicles do not present the earth-shattering shift in functionality and usability that other new products, such as smartphones, did in different industries. Regardless of concerns and skepticism, it appears that automakers are going all-in on the shift to electrification, so we're bound to see a wealth of new battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the next few years.


GM battery facility rendering Automakers are pledging billions to increase EV and PHEV production volume.GM

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Research and development

Ford names site for battery development facility

Ford's new facility will house battery research and development.

Ford

Ford is in the news again for its electrification efforts, this time with the confirmation of a Michigan location for a new battery research and development facility in Romulus, Michigan. The facility may eventually help Ford in-source much of its EV supply chain, a shift that could prevent or mitigate the challenges presented by parts and technology shortages.

As part of its electrification initiative, the automaker plans to build a new research and development facility, called Ford Ion Park. The facility will house new tech research, pilot programs for new manufacturing techniques, and will help give Ford more control over its supply chain.


Ford Ion Park Once complete, the facility will initially house 200 engineers.Ford


The price tag for the new facility and related efforts lands at $185 million, which sounds like chump change for a global automaker until we consider that Ford has committed $30 billion to electrification by 2025. The automaker says that its new facility renews its dedication to Michigan as its home base for EV development, a promise it originally made back in 2010. The company's new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck will be built in Dearborn, which will add 500 jobs. An additional 225 jobs will be retained at Ford's Dyke Electric Powertrain Center.

As part of Phase One of the project, Ford plans to hire 200 engineers within 18 months of the 270,000-square-foot facility's opening. Ironically, the site was previously owned by A123 Systems, a battery manufacturer that closed the facility in 2017 due to low demand for batteries.


Ford Ion Park Ford has committed $185 million to the new facility and related efforts.Ford

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