From what we think we know, Ford will offer the Model E in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric variants. And while the model may share a platform with the next-generation Focus, its body types may include both compact car and crossover variants. Ford plans to start making the Model E in 2019 at a Mexico factory that's slated to start production of other vehicles in 2018.
Ford has already indicated that it'll invest big in both establishing and protecting the Model E name. Ford trademarked Model E in late 2013 just when Tesla Motors was making moves to use the moniker for its more popularly-priced electric vehicle. Tesla then abandoned the name in 2014 in favor of Model 3. Ford also said late last year that it would invest $4.5 billion in electrified vehicles, and would add as many as 13 hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and battery-electric vehicle lines by 2020. Ford spokesman John Cangany, in an e-mail to AutoblogGreen, would only talk about the $4.5 billion investment, but declined to comment further on the automaker's plug-in plans.
By using Model E for a family of vehicles, Ford would be using a similar strategy to Hyundai. The South Korean automaker said earlier this year that its Ioniq brand would include a hybrid and plug-in hybrid version as well as an all-electric variant. The Ioniq EV will debut in the US towards the end of the year with a single-charge range of about 110 miles.
As for Ford's stable of existing electrified models, the company's fortunes have improved as of late. Last month, Ford boosted sales of its hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles by 29 percent from a year earlier to almost 7,500 vehicles, as sales of both the Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid spiked. Through July, Ford's green-car sales are up 4.7 percent from a year earlier to 40,770.