Picture from Wired
Last year the Nissan Leaf was the lone “stock” competitor in the electric division of the Pike's Peak Hill Climb
. A purpose built electric vehicle the Summit HER-02 came in at 12 minutes, 20 seconds. The Leaf finished in 14 minutes and 33 seconds. A very decent showing for the Leaf.
The FFE specs out with a higher peak rated electric motor, but less torque than the Leaf. Add to that a slightly smaller battery and an extra 300lbs and it would seem to indicate that the FFE would be hard pressed to beat the Leaf going up the vicious 12.42 mile Pike’s Peak climb.
Of course that’s the logic we all used to predict that the FFE was going to come in with slightly less range than the Leaf, but the Ford engineer’s sharpened their pencils and pulled a rabbit out of their hat and surprised with 3 miles more range, and a combined MPGe that was better by six.
Wading into wild speculation, one wonders if they didn’t limit acceleration to achieve some of that efficiency gain? Ford has been silent on performance specs for the FFE. Certainly if hard pressed they would respond, “the FFE will be competitive in its class.”
Win or lose I think they should enter. The fact is that early buyers of all of these EVs are taking a chance that some “problem” or “issue” will not pop up and be a nasty gotcha! With GM and Nissan, infrastructure investments are such that I KNOW there will be Volts and Leafs coming off then line a decade from now. Ford has managed to produce the FFE wihtout such entanglements. For their bottom line this is a good thing, but as prospective owner anything they can do to demonstrate the robustness of their design would go a long way.