Cadillac, Ford, VW turn the switch on new electrics
The EVs are coming, the EVs are coming.
Three major automakers made announcements Tuesday of significant electric vehicles that will be hitting U.S. streets in the next two years. Cadillac’s first all-electric crossover (so far unnamed) will debut in Los Angeles on April 2. Volkswagen’s first-ever electric crossover, the ID.4, will hit U.S. shores late this year. And Ford will offer the first electric version of its Transit cargo van next year.
The vehicles come as part of a flood of new models hit the world market both to meet government regulations and corporate environmental goals — and to remake brands like Cadillac and VW that have made commitments to go all-electric.
As sexy as the Cadillac and VW niche products promise to be, the Ford van may be the most significant of the three. More than 153,000 Transits were sold in the U.S. last year – 240,529 worldwide.
Competing with similar models from Chevy, Ram, and Nissan — and a coming, 2022 Rivian EV backed by orders from Amazon the Transit is the best-selling van in its segment and is ubiquitous in the delivery fleets of small business.
As international cities move to banning gas-fired engines, vehicles like the Transit are deemed essential to businesses that are also under pressure from shareholders to develop global warming-fighting sustainability goals.
The U.S.-built Transit also promises cheaper operating costs as well as upgraded connected services like high-speed data architecture and cloud-based services to optimize fleet performance.
“The world is heading toward electrified products and fleet customers are asking for them now,” said Farley. “Ford is thinking deeply on connectivity relationships to provide these businesses smart vehicles beyond just the electric powertrains.”
The roomy Transit is currently offered with three gas-engine options: 3.5-liter V-6, 3.5-liter V-6, and a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder. The Transit EV will join the Mustang Mach E and F-150 EV as battery-powered vehicles in the Ford lineup.
Cadillac’s EV crossover was first teased at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show — and promises a full name different than the alphanumeric badges found on Caddy’s current gas-powered cars.
The SUV will be the first vehicle built on GM’s skateboard BEV3 platform with batteries in the floor.
“Inspired by past innovations and with a powerful vision towards the future, Cadillac looks to set a new standard for American luxury,” said a Caddy press release announcing the car’s unveiling at Milk Studios in LA, April 2.
Volkswagen announced its first EV vehicle to hit US shores will be called the ID.4 as part of the brand’s new ID (Intelligent Design) electric line.
The sleek crossover was first seen as the I.D. CROZZ concept at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show and featured a spare, Tesla-like interior dominated by a center screen. The rear-and-all wheel drive ID.4 promises 310 miles of range and appears aimed at the Mustang Mach E and Tesla Model Y.
It goes on sale in the US later this year as a 2021 model.
Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @HenryEPayne.