New Mustang Mach-E paces Tesla Y in electric vehicle race

Ford's new all-electric Mustang Mach-E SUV trades on the famous pony brand, which could boost interest in electric vehicles. (Ford)

Ford recently unveiled the Mustang Mach-E, its first all-electric SUV that will arrive in the second half of 2020. 

The move was announced on Sunday and pits Ford against Tesla and its upcoming Model Y. Both are expected to launch in a similar timeframe, with similar pricing, performance and EV range.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E will start at about $44,000 and up to $60,500 for the GT model. The Tesla Model Y will range from $39,000 to $60,000. 

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Ford’s Mach-E should get between 210 miles to 300 miles on a full charge, depending on the model, while the Tesla Model Y will get up to 300 miles.

Both vehicles will get about 459 horsepower, 612 pound-feet of torque and go from 0 to 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds.  There’s a 15.5-inch screen inside the Mach-E interior, almost like the one in the Model Y.

The comparisons make a difference in what is becoming an increasingly competitive market for electric vehicles. General Motors, Nissan Motor and others sell EVs, but the new Mach-E is a clear head-on Tesla competitor.

Tesla makes up about 80% of all EVs sold in the U.S. Even so, all EV sales are just about 1.2% of all vehicles sold in the U.S. IHS Markit recently put the number at 207,000 of 17 million vehicles sold in in the U.S. in 2018.

Ford is betting that the well-known Mustang pony brand will help popularize EVs, even though it took some executives at Ford a while to get comfortable with the idea.

“I’m very protective of the Mustang name, but the product kept evolving...and I finally realized this is an amazing vehicle and its worthy of the Mustang pony,” Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford told CNBC.

Ford plans to follow up the Mustang with an all-electric F-150 pickup truck, he said. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted congratulations to Ford for the Mach-E on Nov. 18. “Excited to see this announcement from Ford, as it will encourage other carmakers to go electric too.”

RELATED: Williams racing engineers build higher density EV battery

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