This week we heard from two of the biggest and innovative automotive companies in the world. Tesla and Ford both introduced their versions of the next big thing for electric vehicles (EV) and their brands. Tesla revealed it's long awaited entry into the truck space with its launch of the Cybertruck. Ford Motor Company wasn't about to let Elon have all of the fun, so it introduced it's latest iteration of the iconic Mustang, the Ford Mach-E, the first SEV (Sport Electric Vehicle) to wear the famed Mustang badge.
There is plenty of tech, torque, muscle and volts to talk about, but that's not the story line. At least for me anyway. What's most intriguing is that these two announcements from two leaders - both originators and visionary - has brought the letter "E" and the technology it represents, into two HUGE markets and two dominating demographics. Trucks, muscle and men.
Make no mistake, this isn't a case of neglecting the female side of vehicle development. It's simply the first salvo to break the negative bias towards electric and totally connected vehicles that the mainstream public still harbors. By showcasing the pure muscle that electric drivetrain's possess and place them in a common, everyday models that we use everyday, they have stripped the "Elitist only" badge off electrified transportation. Now, EV's are looked at as practical, stylish and affordable.
The funny thing in all of this is the while Tesla and Ford have put out a one-two punch to move the EV needle, the two manufacturers have clearly stated that they intend to take market share away from each other. With Tesla being the leader in sedan type EV's, Ford took its iconic Mustang brand, added two more doors and a hatch and called it Mach-E to compete directly with the Tesla lineup. Power, good looks, speed, practical and functional, the Mustang Mach E will appeal not only to men, but will be a hit with women as well. The Mach E is not an Audi, Mercedes, BMW or anything from the upper crust. And, its not a Bolt, Volt, Leaf, Prius or any green sounding moniker out there. It's a Mustang, dammit! The Mach E brings commonality to electric vehicles without the hype of saving the planet.
Tesla, realizing that Ford is the leader in trucks, decided it too wanted to build out from it's traditional lineup of sedans and one EUV, so they put all of their technology into a full size pick up that (as of now) out performs any gas or diesel model that Ford (GM, Dodge for that matter) can produce. That fact alone has got every truck owning man (me included) either salivating to own one or pissed off that their truck is now "second class". That's the reason that (as of this writing) Tesla has taken in over 148,000 pre-orders for it's CyberTruck or whatever it will be called. Every other truck manufacturer has to be shaking in their diesel boots right now.
This is all going to be exhilarating to be part of. As one who enjoys muscle, style, function and utility in transportation, I can't wait for the competition to begin. Two titans have thrown down their respective gauntlets and are prepared for a fascinating duel. Let the battles begin!