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Electric vehicles are hard to find at the Chicago Auto Show. Next year will be a different story.

Robert Channick, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Automotive News

The models offer a target range of 250 to 300 miles, with the GT version doing 0 to 60 mph in just over 3 seconds. Branding it a Mustang was a "pretty bold statement around electrification" plans for Ford, according to Dave Pericak, director of icons for the automaker.

"We didn't take the decision to make it a Mustang lightly," said Pericak, who previously served as Mustang's chief engineer. "It will have all the performance, but it will have a soul. It's just a ton of fun."

The spartan interior includes a 15-inch display screen that will use machine learning to anticipate your habits, such as asking if you want to phone home on your return commute after work. It also has low-tech features such as a cupholder.

Ford also has an all-electric F-150 truck in the developmental pipeline, but hasn't disclosed many of its electrification plans. Pericak said launching with two iconic nameplates shows that Ford is "leaning in," despite the dearth of electric vehicles at the 2020 show.

"Electrification is a big part of our plan and where we're headed," Pericak said.

Audi e-tron

 

Audi, which is owned by German automaker Volkswagen, rolled out its first EV offering last year, the e-tron. By 2025, it expects a third of its U.S. product line to be electric, according to Cody Thacker, head of electrification for Audi of America.

The featured speaker at an auto show luncheon Thursday given by The Economic Club of Chicago, Thacker said the auto industry is investing $300 billion into electrification, and that consumer adoption will become widespread.

Thacker said the biggest barrier to adoption is "range anxiety," the fear of running out of juice before finding a plug to recharge your vehicle. While most daily commutes are less than 30 miles, Thacker said getting to "the family reunion in Ohio" remains a concern for EV owners.

"That is real, that's something we have to think about," Thacker said at the luncheon. "This is where the public charging infrastructure needs to get deployed."

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