Ford will build in Michigan and sell in North America, Europe, and Asia, an electric SUV capable of traveling more than 300 miles on a single charge, the automaker announced Tuesday. The electric car would go on sale by 2020.
Fields said the automaker would spend $700 million on upgrades to Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant, which currently builds the Mustang and Lincoln Continental, to build the new electric SUV. According to Ford, the SUV built in Flat Rock would be sold in North America, Europe, and Asia.
In 2015, Ford announced it would spend $1.6 billion to build a new vehicle plant in Mexico that would eventually build the Focus and slow-selling hybrid C-Max, but the automaker scrapped those plans Tuesday and said the money would be redirected toward upgrades for Flat Rock.
The closest thing Ford has to an electric SUV currently is the plug-in hybrid C-Max | Ford
The new electric SUV could take on directly the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV and coming Tesla Model III, which both deliver more than 200 miles of electric range at a lower price. Although the Bolt EV is shaped like a small hatchback, rival General Motors insists on calling the Bolt EV a “crossover,” noting the car’s taller seating position.
It’s not immediately clear what the new electric SUV from Ford will look like. Last year Ford announced that it would sell in the U.S. a smaller crossover than its Escape, dubbed Ecosport, that would be built—at least initially — in India. The new SUV could be based on that platform—or take an entirely different shape when it arrives by 2020.
According to Hau Thai-Tang, VP of global purchasing for Ford, the electric SUV will be sold in all 50 states and across the world.
Ford said its $700 million investment in Flat Rock would cover both the electric SUV and a self-driving car that will be used for ride-sharing services, but didn’t specify size or the cars’ intended segments. It wasn’t clear if the self-driving car and the electric SUV would share the same platform either.