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Ford Mustang Mach-E, Chevrolet Bolt EV Take Decidedly Different Approaches To Electrification

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As legacy automakers continue to work feverously to develop new battery electric vehicles, each is also taking a decidedly different approach toward electrifying its lineup. Currently, two of the Detroit big three automakers – Ford and General Motors – each have an electric vehicle in their respective lineups – the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Chevrolet Bolt EV – but the two couldn’t be any more different.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV was GM’s first long-range, consumer-grade electric vehicle. The BEV2 platform that it’s based on was only just the beginning of GM’s EV efforts, however, and the automaker’s upcoming electric vehicles figure to look nothing like it. Regardless, after announcing that it intends to electrify its entire lineup by 2025, the Bolt will undoubtedly be surrounded by BEVs in the coming years. All of GM’s future EVs not under the Bolt sub-brand will be based on the next-gen BEV3 platform, however.

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Bolt EV is a compact, five-door hatchback with rather docile styling, though a refresh is coming very soon. Regardless, it will retain its basic dimensions and receive new front and rear fascias, so we aren’t expecting a seismic shift in terms of design. As far as GM’s future BEVs go, each figures to look a lot like its ICE-powered counterpart than traditional electric vehicles.

We know this because, in an interview conducted back in 2019, GM design chief Michael Simcoe noted that this was the direction the automaker would take moving forward. “We don’t believe customers are really looking for vehicles that scream ‘I’m electric,’ and therefore have a different appearance,” Simcoe said. “Most of our customers tell us that we’ll buy an electric vehicle if it does everything that my gas-powered vehicle does, including in some ways the appearance.”

On the other hand, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E takes a decidedly different approach to attacking the electric vehicle market, combining sporty styling with a bit of traditional EV flair (just take its closed-off front grille area as an example) to result in a product that looks like a true performance vehicle when compared side-by-side to the Bolt.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV Teaser

Like the Bolt, the Mach-E is Ford’s first EV effort, which means that it will serve as a proving ground for Ford’s electric vehicle tech in the same way the Bolt did for GM. And while these two vehicles may otherwise share little in common, it’s interesting to think that just a few years ago, no one would have guessed that we’d see two electric vehicles from two of the world’s largest automakers sharing the road together.

We’ll have more on the Mach-E and its competition soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Mustang Mach-E news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. This is GM 2nd attempt at a EV while it’s Fords 1st, FCA hasn’t join this Club yet they too busy putting 6.2 and 6.4 in every model from Dodge to Jeep Appearance and size matter,

    • You mean the Chevy Spark EV that came out before the Bolt EV. That little car can out race a V8 Camaro. Look through YouTube to see that race which the Spark won. And, BTW, is an EV that is identical in look to the ICE version.

      • Ford Owner, if you’re talking about a stock Spark EV, I’m not sure why the Camaro lost. The Spark EV has a 0-60 of 8 seconds and a top speed of 90mph. I’m aware the V8 Camaro would have a faster 0-60 and would end the 1/4 mile at a faster speed than 90mph.

    • 3rd if you count the EV-1! Those who drove that early EV LOVED IT, but GM took them all back and destroyed all but a few, which are in museums. Their reasoning? “No one reeeally wants an EV”. Screw them. I’ll keep my Hyundai!

  2. Suffice it to say, that if two of the largest manufacturers are as serious as they appear to be about the EV change over, we’re witnessing a monumental shift in vehicle motivation that has used ICE for its entire existence. Historical, and you are a witness.

  3. “We don’t believe customers are really looking for vehicles that scream ‘I’m electric,’ and therefore have a different appearance,” Simcoe said. “Most of our customers tell us that we’ll buy an electric vehicle if it does everything that my gas-powered vehicle does, including in some ways the appearance.”

    Translation, stop making EVs the ugliest vehicles on the road.

  4. GM haven’t sold the Bolt in any numbers. And in less than 5 years they want to be all electric. I hope they aren’t planning on the tax payers to save them again.

    • Al, you have hit the nail on the head!! My problem with “all electric” is simple, where does the electricity come from????? Burning natural gas/ burning Coal, and Nuclear account for about 80% of our electric supply. As most public schools don’t teach much of anything now days, far too many people don’t realize you have a loss when you transmit power. IMHO, converting a large portion of America’s vehicles to NG (we have almost 100 years Proven reserve), would reduce carbon emissions (in a huge way), still give us powerful ICEs, and keep our dollars here in the US! Ford has shipped so many jobs out of the US, they have proven by their actions, they are not concerned with their customers or our countries future.

  5. @royfy (you seem to be a coward to reveal your true name), you are wrong in every point. EV owners recharge at night when the power utilities have excess energy but few consume it. Just call up your power utility and ask! And many EV owners have solar power so they charge for free. Can you get fuel for free?

    NG still contaminates the environment. And how do you get fuel? You use electricity to pump it, so you contaminate the environment twice when you drive any ICEV.

  6. EV’s have to look different (weird) because their buyers love to virtue signal about how much more they care about the environment than everyone else. They are all complete phonies. They will ignore the massive environmental damage that will be caused trying to manufacture 10’s of million battery packs for these automobiles. Also remember, Tesla still doesn’t come close to earning a profit if you’d take away their sale of “green energy credits” that other companies are forced to purchase. Take away the tax incentive for buying an EV (like a country already $29 trillion in debt can afford to grant large tax credits) and the whole EV market wouldl collapse.

  7. EV and climate change are both scams. And we will all be paying for it. Higher energy prices. Economic slow down. China eating our lunch.

  8. I love all this Virtue signalling by Ford and GM, yet nobody talks about the facts. Even if every vehicle in Canada, USA, Mexico was an EV China and India continue to pollute faster then all three countries combined. The only guy who called them out was Trump and look how that turned out. Beijing Joe will not dare poke China so we will just bend over and take it all while the real threat to the planet continues their path of destruction. Thanks Joe!

  9. I will give credit to EV’s where credit is due. They make a nicer golf cart (to use) than ICE powered ones. I can’t talk about the maintenance cost, since I personally do not have any data. However, I know the turnaround time on the ICE cart is quicker.

  10. If somebody had told me twenty five years ago that EVs would become big I would have laughed. Today up here in Canada we have EVs coming to current factories at Cami Ingersoll (commercial units), Ford Oakville (F150s) and GM Oshawa (pickups). And several companies are moving into battery production.

  11. Right now, we’re at the beginning stages of the next chapter of the automobile. As much as I’m not really thrilled about it, Electric vehicles are the next generation of the car. Right now, these soulless appliances are not what really all that interesting and they do have their issues, but I do believe the Gen-2 electric vehicles will offer a better car than what we know today, especially once the electric energy infrastructure changes and becomes more environmentally friendly. Right now, the major issues are still charging in urban areas, the process of manufacturing Lithium ion batteries and Lithium ion battery disposal. Not to mention the time it takes to charge an EV. There are companies out there designing replacements and alternatives to lithium ion batteries such as solid state batteries, and ultracapacitors. While neither of those solve the issue of charging in urban areas, it does reduce the time it take to charge an EV and provides a cleaner source. Urban charging will most likely happen during times of shopping at grocery stores or malls as parking spots may evolve into charging pads powered by solar energy or even a combination of solar and wind energy as I see no reason as to why a mall could not have a wind turbine sticking straight up out of it’s center. along with having solar pannels on the roof and in the parking lot. The same goes for a grocery store (without the wind turbine, just solar). The push to move things to electric by 2035/2040 isn’t unrealistic, it just needs to be executed properly

  12. Another thing I believe we’re going to see with the Gen-2 electric vehicles is a more “organic” vehicle, and what I mean by that is a more natural feeling vehicle. Right now, EVs are pretty much a single speed vehicle that doesn’t really feel like a real car. Companies like Eaton, Hewland, Tremec and several others are currently developing, or have developed transmissions to fit behind electric vehicles along with companies that are moving to made DCT and even manual transmissions to mate up to electric vehicle, especially in the motorcycle market. Auto manufacturers are also being mandated to have electric vehicle make some sort of sound that alerts pedestrians that an electric vehicle is being operated nearby. Harman audio group is working with several manufacturers to produce distinct sounds for electric vehicles and companies like Ford already pump fake sound into the cabins of their ICE vehicles so what stops manufacturers and aftermarket “performance” companies from developing their own performance sound for certain vehicles? Even if they have to comply to a 98db rating, that’s still plenty of sound for an enthusiast to enjoy and a high quality sound system can seriously make you feel like you’re listening to an actual performance exhaust. Right now, all we have are boring “vehicles” such as what companies like Tesla puts out and this current Mach E crap that Ford has but I think pretty soon we’re going to start seeing vehicles that don’t look like electric vehicles and a have actually stylish interiors and good looking exteriors and you wont look like your driving a neutered vehicle like a Tesla or a Prius.

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