Among the upcoming entries to the all-electric vehicle market, the Ford Mustang Mach-E stands as one of the most exciting. The vehicle, after all, features Mustang-worthy performance at a price that’s competitive with EVs like the Tesla Model Y. It’s also a crossover, which means that it is competing in one of the automotive market’s most lucrative segments.
That being said, the electric vehicle market, especially in the United States, is pretty much Tesla’s territory. Tesla dominates the EV segment to such an insane degree that in states like California, the company’s futuristic all-electric cars are becoming ubiquitous. Ford CEO Jim Farley, however, believes that this status quo is open for change, especially when the Mustang Mach-E comes to market.
In a recent statement to the Detroit Free Press, the Ford CEO stated that the Mach-E is the first “true” competitor for Tesla’s electric cars. That’s not all, either, as Farley noted that the Mach-E would have an advantage over its California-made competitor. “The vehicle is a game-changer. For me, the Mach-E is the first true competitor with Tesla. It’s got Detroit swagger. It’s a Mustang. Tesla is not a Mustang,” Farley remarked.
Farley also noted that the Mach-E would feature technology that’s more intuitive and less complicated than what Tesla offers in its vehicles. The CEO took a particular focus on the Mach-E’s controls, which feature a blend of Tesla-esque touchscreen features, traditional buttons, and interestingly enough, a physical knob fitted in the center display. These, according to Farley, will offer drivers an experience that is as familiar and safe as it is convenient.
“We have an (additional) small screen in front of the driver, which we think is a lot safer. You don’t have to move your attention to the center of the car, away from the road. You can hit a button and pick driver modes with one click. You still have traditional buttons,” he said.
The Ford CEO added that in a Tesla, drivers would have to go through different screen menus to perform basic tasks such as turning on the defroster or adjusting the car’s side mirrors. This suggests that Tesla, in its decision to embed a lot of controls in the display, sacrificed usability over design. Farley noted that for the Mach-E, Ford wants to ensure that drivers could perform vehicle-related actions quicker and easier.
Ford is putting in a lot of effort into ensuring that the Mustang Mach-E will not be just another compliance car. The vehicles, for example, will not just fill Ford dealerships. Instead, they will be made to order, just like Tesla’s electric cars. This marks the first time in Ford’s history that it is launching a product through a reservation process. The company is also conducting a full press initiative to push the Mach-E to as many potential customers as possible.
So far, initial reactions to the Mach-E have been positive. During a dealership event on October 23, for example, the vehicle attracted so many interested onlookers that Ford had to turn away some visitors over social distancing rules. Ford Chairman Bill Ford, known for his love of loud-roaring Mustangs, also reportedly enjoyed the vehicle so much that he practically refused to give back a Mach-E unit that he was using, at least until the vehicle’s production and design teams pleaded with him to return the all-electric crossover.