Ford announced Thursday that the car company’s hotly-anticipated electric SUV will be part of the automaker’s most iconic brand.
The battery-powered vehicle — long-teased as a “Mustang-inspired” SUV — will officially join the Mustang line as the Mustang Mach-E.
Ford ($F) is expected to unveil the new vehicle at an event Sunday evening in Los Angeles and will begin accepting orders as soon as the event wraps up.
Today’s announcement is the latest in what’s become a major build-up to the Mach-E’s debut this weekend — an event that itself is kicking off the company’s ambitious $11.5 billion investment in electric vehicles, spearheaded by the Mach-E.
Last month, Ford announced that it was investing in a network of 12,000 charging stations across North America — nearly three times as many as Tesla. Starting with the Mach-E, Ford says it plans to introduce 16 electrified vehicles through 2022.
This is just the latest chapter of the storied muscle car, which first came onto the scene in 1964. But despite the many upgrades and re-designs through the decades, this will be the first time that the Mustang name and famed pony badge will be borne by a vehicle other than a two-door car.
This isn’t the only Ford icon that the company is planning to electrify. In April, the automaker revealed that it was investing $500 million in electric truck maker Rivian, which laid the groundwork for the introduction of an all-electric version of the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. last year: the F-150 pickup truck.
The moves have followed company chairman Bill Ford’s pronouncement in 2018 that his company planned to go “all in” on electric vehicles. Ford, the world’s eighth most valuable automaker last year and the second-largest in the U.S., and Volkswagen, the world’s second most valuable car manufacturer, announced in July that they were teaming up on electric vehicles and self-driving technology. Ford by 2022 plans to introduce 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles.
The investments are aimed at unseating the current EV industry leaders in the U.S. Tesla occupies a commanding 80 percent of the U.S. electric vehicle market, and General Motors is the only automaker other than Tesla to have sold so many electric vehicles that it’s hit a cap on the EV tax credits that it can claim.
Other automakers, though, may soon catch up: Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot announced a merger that would provide new EV platforms for Fiat Chrysler, the third-largest of the “Big Three” U.S. automakers, behind GM and Ford.
With three days still to go before the big unveiling, Ford’s moves in the electric vehicle space are already having an impact: Credit Suisse is reportedly expecting a sharp drop in Tesla’s share price — largely, the bank says, because of Ford.