Electric Vehicles

Ford's new 'Making the Mustang Mach-E' documentary shows EV's design and engineering process

Ford has offered an inside peek at the Mustang Mach-E's design process in a new documentary.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

This week we saw the 2020 Ford Mustang Mach-E in the flesh for the first time and were able to ride in it. Now, Ford has released its "Making the Mustang Mach-E" documentary to share the story of how the model came to be.

Originally, the Mustang Mach-E was not going to be a Mustang. When Jim Hackett, the company's president and CEO took over in May 2017, he created a dedicated electric vehicle (EV) team, named Ford Team Edison. The team changed course, moving from plans for a mundane EV, something more like the Chevrolet Bolt, BMW i3, and Nissan Leaf, to the performance-driven model that would evolve to become the Mustang Mach-E.

Watch it here:

Making the Mustang Mach-E | Mustang Mach-E | Ford Video via YouTube

The 20-minute film is narrated by members of the team and Mustang owners. It was created by Ford and Chrome Productions. The film was executive produced by Chrome Managing Director Joel Mishcon and Gez Medinger, produced by Melly Cook, directed by Jamie Crawford and edited by Alessandro Dordoni at Chrome London.

Customers can now reserve their Mustang Mach-E online. Deliveries begin in late 2020.

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Ram will welcome an electric member to its family in the future.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The 2022 GMC Hummer EV and all-electric Ford F-150 are coming soon. It would ludicrous to think that Ram wouldn't be joining the other two members of the Big Three in producing an electric pickup truck.

Today, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley confirmed that one is in the works during the company's third-quarter earnings call. He provided no additional details.

In response to an industry analyst's question on the matter, Manley said, "I do see that there will be an electrified Ram pickup in the marketplace, and I would ask you just to stay tuned for a little while, and we'll tell you exactly when that will be."

2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is one of the least fuel-efficient vehicles FCA makes, but the Ram TRX is even less efficient.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The confirmation was a strategic, given that just one quarter ago Manley more or less ducked the question saying "Obviously, pickup trucks is a key franchise for us, and we're not going to sit on the sideline if there is a danger that our position gets diluted going forward," during that quarter's earnings call.

Ram isn't just facing competition from General Motors and Ford. It also has pressure coming from startups including Rivian, which is currently tooling as it gears up to produce the R1T, and Lordstown Motors, which is substantially backed by GM, and already has 40,000 reservations for fleet vehicles. Tesla has promised that the Cybertruck will come to market.

FCA is more than a touch behind when it comes to electrification. Its U.S. lineup is aging with the mid-generation Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as its only plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) currently on sale. Ram offers a few mild-hybrid engine options for buyers and the Maserati Ghibli Hybrid is on the horizon. The company recently debuted PHEV 4xe versions of the Jeep Wrangler, Compass, and Renegade but only the Wrangler 4xe will be sold in the U.S. in the coming year.

In the meantime, FCA continues to push out fuel inefficient vehicles for buyer consumption in the U.S. where emissions regulations are not as stringent as they are in Europe and China. This includes the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk (EPA-estimated 15 mpg combined) and Ram 1500 TRX (EPA-estimated 12 mpg combined).

The way forward for Ram may be complicated by the forthcoming FCA-PSA Groupe merger, which is set to be confirmed by the European Union in early 2021.

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