Survey Says

Autolist Survey: Most don't like the Mustang name on a Ford EV, split on Mach-E vs. Model Y

The Ford Mustang Mach-E's natural competitor is the Tesla Model Y.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford made big news ahead of the 2019 L.A. Auto Show this month with the debut of its first-ever Mustang Mach-E, an all-electric crossover that will go on sale in late 2020 and early 2021.

Though there are a variety of high-end luxury EV crossovers either already on the market or joining it shortly (from the likes of Tesla, Audi, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz), there's only a single mainstream rival to the Mach-E: Tesla's Model Y.

Like the Ford, the Model Y will start under $50,000, arrive in 2020, offer up to 300 miles of range, and will come in rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive configurations.

Tesla Model Y Tesla's Model Y has yet to begin deliveries but promises similar range and features to the Ford Mustang Mach-E.Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

So which one will be more popular? It turns out it might be a draw. But people did agree that they didn't like the Mustang name slapped onto an all-electric crossover.

Autolist.com surveyed roughly 1,000 car shoppers shortly after the Mach-E was revealed and asked them which they would choose: the Ford or the Tesla Model Y.

Fifty-one percent of people choose the Ford; the remaining 49 percent choose the Tesla.

Those who chose the Ford Mach-E cited the following reasons for doing so:

  • Prefer/trust Ford more
  • The Mach-E's exterior styling
  • Ford's established dealer and service network
  • The Mach-E's expected reliability
  • Concerns about Tesla's future

Meanwhile, those who chose the Tesla Model Y did so citing the following reasons:

  • Prefer/trust Tesla more
  • Expected reliability
  • The Model Y's expected performance
  • Tesla's Supercharging network
  • Dislike of the Ford brand

Turning to Ford's decision to use the iconic Mustang name on this Mach-E crossover, that proved less divisive in Autolist's poll.

Forty-six percent of respondents said they didn't like the fact that Ford chose to use the Mustang name on the Mach-E, 20 percent did like the decision, and 34 percent were undecided.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Ford offers a richer dealership network than Tesla, which sells from boutiques or online.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

While the Mach-E certainly is a departure from what the Mustang muscle car has been known for over the past 55 years, there's some logic behind Ford's choice to use it here. Because the Mustang name has so much brand awareness unto itself, Ford can leverage it to get more attention paid to this all-new electric crossover than it would have if it had used a new name for the EV.

Tesla's Model Y is currently expected to begin deliveries in the middle of 2020.

Ford has teamed up with Microsoft to study traffic congestion.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Computers are everywhere. We wear them on our wrists, carry them in our pockets, and rely on them to function in a modern world. As computing evolves, automakers like Ford are using high-level technology to work to solve everyday problems.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker has partnered with Microsoft to simulate the impact thousands of vehicles traveling has on congestion. They're early in to the project, still developing the quantum computing aspects of the project, which will take the problems of today and scale them to predict the problems of tomorrow. Then, the two companies will use the information to dive deeper into possible solutions to those problems.

"Quantum computing has the potential to transform the auto industry and the way we move," said Julie Love, senior director of quantum computing business development, Microsoft. "To do that we need to have a deep understanding of the problems that companies like Ford want to solve, which is why collaborations like these are so important."

When rush hour happens and congestion picks up, it's not uncommon for drivers to use various apps to change their route using traffic apps like Waze. However, these apps often route drivers the same way, creating congestion on side streets. Ideally, new computing would work to balance those routes to allow the least amount of congestion possible on all streets.

Dr. Ken Washington, Chief Technology Officer, Ford Motor Company described the problem and possible solution in a recent post on Medium.

Simply put, it's not feasible to have traditional computers find the optimal solution from a huge number of possible route assignments in a timely manner. That's where quantum computing can help. Essentially, existing digital computers translate information into either a 1 or a 0, otherwise known as a bit. But in a quantum computer, information can be processed by a quantum bit (or a qubit) that can simultaneously exist in two different states before it gets measured. Upon measurement, however, either a 1 or a 0 appears randomly and the probability for each is governed by a set of rules called quantum mechanics.

This ultimately enables a quantum computer to process information with a faster speed. Attempts to simulate some specific features of a quantum computer on non-quantum hardware have led to quantum-inspired technology — powerful algorithms that mimic certain quantum behaviors and run on specialized conventional hardware. That enables organizations to start realizing some benefits before fully-scaled quantum hardware becomes available.

The partnership between Microsoft and Ford started in 2018 to specifically focus on reducing traffic congestion in Seattle, a city undergoing tremendous rapid growth that is confined in its footprint by waterways and mountains.

The collaboration tested numerous scenarios in their efforts to solve Seattle's traffic congestion, with as many as 5,000 vehicles. Each vehicle in the scenario had 10 different route choices. In 20 seconds, computing software weighed each of those suggestions and delivered a route that resulted in a 73 percent improvement in total congestion compared to traditional route suggestion methods. The result was an eight percent drop in the time of the commute.

Ford remains hopeful that future advances in quantum computing will further the company's mission to work to reduce congestion.

In November, Tesla introduced the Cybertruck.

Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla showed off its new Cybertruck ahead of the L.A. Auto Show in November and reaction was mixed (to put it lightly). Consumer sentiment regarding the promise of all-electric trucks from Ford and General Motors has been better received, at least if you use social media as a gauge.

Today, no EVs for sale in the U.S. are trucks, though buyers can put a deposit down on a Cybertruck and a Rivian R1T. An exact timeline for an electric F-150 has yet to be publicly announced. Earlier this year, General Motors announced its electric pickup will go on sale in 2021.

2019 Ford Electric F-150 pickup Ford showed off the capability of an electric truck this year, but it's not the Ford electric truck.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Which company would customers rather buy their electric truck from? Autolist surveyed roughly 1,100 current car shoppers in late November and early December and asked them for their thoughts on the upcoming trucks from Ford, GM, Tesla, and Rivian.

Assuming they all had similar specs and features, GM was the top choice, garnering 29 percent of the vote. Ford got 27 percent while Rivian had 24 percent and Tesla nabbed 20 percent.

"Frankly, these results are good for all four brands," said Chase Disher, analyst at Autolist.com. "It shows that Ford and GM can leverage their considerable -- and existing -- truck followings to boost interest in their EV models. Meanwhile, it shows that Tesla and Rivian could be poised to grab a meaningful share of a crucial new growth segment."

While pickups remain the top-selling vehicle segment in the U.S., there is some indication that an electric pickup would bring new buyers into the segment. Of those surveyed, 50 percent said that they had never owned a truck while 49 percent had. Of those that had never owned a truck before, many considered the Tesla Cybertruck as their top choice with 25.8 percent of the vote. The Rivian R1T (24.8 percent), Ford F-150 Electric (24.7 percent), and GM Electric truck (24.7) followed.

Among those that had owned a truck before, GM was the most popular option with 35 percent of the tally while Ford earned 28 percent, Rivian had 23 percent, and Tesla got 14 percent.