Ford confirms plans to introduce a long-range electric vehicle to compete with the likes of Tesla and General Motors.
Company CEO Mark Fields refuted some reports that Ford f had no intention to develop an electric car that could go 200 miles or more on one charge, and instead, offered a firm answer on their battery-powered vehicle plans.
“Absolutely,” he said in a conference call with analysts on Thursday, in response to a question on Ford’s intentions on launching a long-range EV. “Our approach, very simply, is we want to make sure that we are either among the leaders or a leadership position in the product segments that we are in.”
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Last December, the Dearborn automaker said it was dedicating $4.5 billion to develop its own fleet of electric vehicles, and promised 40% of the company’s models would come in electrified versions by 2020. He affirmed this with analysts on Thursday. “They will be very competitive from a cost, quality, range standpoint to allow us to move the business forward.”
He declined to provide a timeframe for the launch of Ford’s long-range electric vehicle, something noteworthy considering that General Motors gm has already started pre-production on its 200-mile Chevrolet Bolt EV, with an eye to a retail launch by the end of the year.
Tesla tsla will be shipping its first mass-market EV, the Model 3, by the end of next year. Reservations for the car are already approaching 400,000 orders.
Electric plans aside, Ford enjoyed a stellar first quarter of the year, with a 113% surge in quarterly net income to $2.45 billion on the back of its best-selling F-150 pickup trucks.