Home Latest News A Bronco EV Is on the Way. At Least, It Should Be.
A Bronco EV Is on the Way. At Least, It Should Be.
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A Bronco EV Is on the Way. At Least, It Should Be.

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The tumult regarding the rapid rollout of electric (or electrified) vehicles over the course of this decade has led Ford fans to surmise that a Bronco EV is in the works. And in looking at how Ford develops, manufactures, and plans its vehicles, it’s not a wishful-thinking scenario.

Of course, asking Ford for comment gets zero traction. A request to Ford PR merely got the response: “Bronco EV is speculation.”

Reading the PR-messaging tea leaves, however, provides insight. Perhaps most importantly, Ford PR’s deflection is not a flat-out denial. More importantly, in past comments, Ford CEO Jim Farley hasn’t said a Bronco EV is out of the question.

In a December 2021 interview with Automotive News, Farley said, “You can do the math. We’re a company filled with icons, and we’re going to electrify our icons. That’s all I’ll say.”

Earlier in 2021, during a preview announcement regarding future electrification, Ford chief industrial platform officer Hau Thai-Tang posed next to an outline of a battery-electric crossover that looked quite similar to a Bronco.

Another reason to be bullish on a Bronco EV: Building one would not be that big a lift. The Bronco is derived from the same T6 platform (shared with Volkswagen) as the Ranger pickup truck as well as the VW Amarok.

A Ford executive confirmed to drive.com.au that the next-generation Ranger will be electrified – with at least a plug-in hybrid variant.

What’s more, VW executives have been a bit loose-lipped about their electrified future products. According to wardsauto.com, VW is “looking at a pure-electric version,” of the next Amarok that comes in 2023, said Lars Krause, Volkswagen commercial vehicle board member responsible for marketing.

“It is still early, but it is something we are considering within the lifecycle,” Kruse said during a media presentation for the new Amarok in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Intriguingly, VW may bypass the midway solution of a plug-in hybrid electric, and go straight to pure battery-electric for the Amarok.

“Right now, we’re not satisfied with the electric range of the plug-in hybrid. I’d never say never, but we’re looking more towards a full-electric version,” Krause told Wards.

VW is confident the shared platform could accommodate an electric drivetrain and battery pack. If VW and Ford have already done the hard work of creating a joint platform that can handle both internal-combustion and battery-electric powertrains, that’s a huge step in the right direction.

It might not even be badged Volkswagen, as VW is relaunching the Scout brand of electrified off-road vehicles. Looking at the silhouettes that accompanied VW’s Scout announcement, one looked very familiar to that of a Bronco (then again, any squared-off two-box SUV is going to look like a Bronco). But that’s not happening until 2026. Bummer for Scout fans.

Why the protracted timeline? Normally, the engineering time and engineering costs to swap out an ICE powertrain for a battery-electric one is a complicated undertaking – in terms of where the battery and propulsion units reside, the completely different electrical architectures, how the frame and suspension geometry are affected by the weight shift, and revising the crash structure. If Ford and VW have joint-developed a platform to handle ICE, PHEV, and BEV powertrains, then engineering costs and timelines may have been shared.

Then there’s the competition to consider. For the Bronco to not offer an electrified variant would cede ground to Jeep’s plug-in-hybrid Wrangler 4xe, which went on sale last year. Note: “electrified” is not the same as “electric” – the former still carries an internal combustion engine, mated to a plug-in battery pack.

That said, Jeep has drawn a line in the sand regarding electric propulsion with the 4xe’s 2.0-liter turbo, mated to two motor-generators, that puts out 380 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque of maximum combined output. In gasoline-only mode, the 4xe gets a banal 20 mpg, but in hybrid mode that jumps to 49 mpg-e, according to fueleconomy.gov. Although Stellantis states the 4xe can run about 30 miles in battery-only mode, fueleconomy.gov puts it closer to 22 miles.

But that’s not all from Jeep. Earlier this year, Jeep announced that a Compass-sized battery-electric crossover would arrive in 2023. And Jeep has shown the Magneto and Magneto 2.0 concepts that showed what a battery-electric Wrangler could look like – with a targeted sale date of no later than 2025. Already there have been raving media drives of concept prototypes of the 625 hp, 850 lb-ft off-roading beast.

The clock is ticking for Ford to jump into the game. Let’s just hope they’ve been playing coy with their future product announcements and a Bronco EV is well on the way.

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Comment(8)

  1. I would honestly be shocked at this point if we didn’t see an EV Bronco hit the market in the coming years. Like you said, especially with Ford’s focus on EVs and other coming units like the Scout. I would definitely consider an EV Bronco when the time came. Rather, I will definitely consider an EV Bronco when the time comes 😉

  2. I wouldn’t get too excited. I’m still waiting for my Base Bronco that I ordered on July 17, 2020. Two plus years and still unable to fulfill a regular order!!I have lost all faith in Ford’s ability to follow through on anything that they say.

  3. Bronco EV is a definite in today’s climate. But at what cost? Considering a Wildtrak is a $62k venture now what will thus add? Or will the government continue to hand out taxpayer gimmes to all that get on board. Politics and technology will decide what the rest of us do in 5 years.

  4. I’ll get the Scout from Volkswagen when it comes out, great car for my son, after all I had two consecutive Scouts, and only got into Broncos when the full size F150 short wheelbase model came out. To me, the 2021 Bronco I drive now is a mating of the Scout and the full size Bronco.

  5. A completely new electric/hybrid Bronco, not the Bronco or Bronco Sport, would not surprise me. Bronco is a new brand for Ford Motor Co., with the 2 models out now. Something similar to those, but different, that’s been designed to be electric from the start (like the Mach-e and the F-150 Lightning), would make sense.

  6. Bronco ev is an oxymoron. I would never buy one. No matter how hard the powers that be push, dino powered vehicles are here for the foreseeable future.

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