Ford’s new battery-powered Mustang Mach-E challenges Tesla

Posted by Talbot Payne on November 19, 2019

Ford's first fully electric SUV, the Mustang Mach-E, premiered Sunday night.

Los Angeles — Tesla CEO Elon Musk has long patterned his company after the Ford Motor Co. If the Model T introduced the 20th century to affordable personal transportation, then Tesla’s similarly named Model 3 is bringing electrification to the 21st.

So it’s only fitting that Ford is introducing a competitor against the Silicon Valley upstart.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV is Detroit’s most direct answer to Tesla’s pioneering Model 3 electric compact sedan and forthcoming 2021 Model Y crossover twin. By challenging the Model Y from footprint, to performance specs, to online ordering strategy, Ford is daring buyers to compare the two — and then assess whether the Tesla is a match for the Blue Oval’s superior dealer network and manufacturing quality.

The Mustang Mach-E is a testament to how Tesla has disrupted the auto industry. Once regarded as rolling roadblocks piloted by tree-huggers, EVs were reinvented by Tesla as the cool car on the block. With seatback-flattening acceleration, sleek looks and sci-fi technology, Tesla’s $70,000 Model S became one of the world’s most coveted performance sedans. The $40,000 Model 3 expanded the appeal.

Ford Chairman Bill Ford wants a piece of that action.

►MOREFord takes the wraps off the $45,000 Mustang Mach-E electric SUV

►MORE: 10 cool things about the Ford Mustang Mach-E

It’s fair to say this is personal – not just because Bill Ford wants his great-grandfather’s brand to remain relevant in a new century, but because he shares Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s vision: that the planet is in crisis and EVs can help save it.

Approved by Chairman Ford himself, Ford’s new EV is adorned with the company’s most valuable performance badge, Mustang. Spending that name-equity on a battery-powered EV is an acknowledgement that it must have sex appeal.

The Mustang Mach-E closely follows the Tesla game plan.

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