An Electric Bronco? It Seems Like It's in the Works

Though we would definitely bet on a hybrid arriving first.

ford electric bronco
Ford

Update, 5/28/2021: During a presentation for investors this week, Ford mentioned it's developing two new electric vehicle architectures, including one made for "off-road SUVs" — accompanied by a picture of what clearly seems to be the outline of an electric Ford Bronco. Given this, we're betting the EV Bronco is all but guaranteed, albeit still a few years off.

Last year, Ford (finally) launched the all-new Bronco. It has been a boffo hit with potential buyers, with more than 125,000 pre-orders already racked up before the SUV has even entered production. That said, it didn't receive universal acclaim; some critics felt launching an all-new SUV without even a hybrid option in 2020 didn't meet the moment. One, a bit theatrically, called the Bronco's release "an obscene monument to climate denialism." (And, notably, Jeep's counter-offensive to the Bronco has involved both putting the hybrid 4xe Wrangler into production and a Wrangler EV concept.)

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

But Ford appears to have plans to address the powertrain efficiency issue moving forward. Confronted by a "Tesla-powered" Ford shareholder on Twitter about the lack of EV plans for the Bronco, Ford CEO Jim Farley responded leadingly — all but confirming Ford has something in store for us on the electrification front.

That said, we'd bet a hybrid Bronco will arrive first. Hybrid Bronco rumblings have been persistent; a Bronco gauge cluster leak showed an "EV Coaching" mode, which would only make sense in a hybrid. A hybrid would also be a markedly lower technical lift than an EV, and besides, having one may become a competitive necessity. The Jeep Wrangler has a plug-in hybrid powertrain, and the Toyota 4Runner should get one soon as well. And early returns suggest the hybrids will be the better-performing versions of those vehicles.

Expect a pure electric Bronco to take at least a few years, however — potentially not arriving until the next model cycle. The technological challenge is massive: the Bronco currently runs on the aging Ranger platform, and Ford doesn't yet have a new dedicated EV platform to swap it with. There's also not much competitive incentive for one just yet; after all, Jeep's Magneto concept — literally a stock Wrangler with a crude powerplant swap — only showed how far the competition is away from building one.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below