Ford Ranger electric version is getting closer

The odds of an electric version of the Ford Ranger are shortening by the minute, although the brand remains cagey about the project.

The company’s chief financial officer, John Lawler, refused to speculate about a timetable for a Ranger EV but gave some broad hints about the importance of both Ranger and EVs to Ford’s international markets.

Speaking to media at a briefing before the Detroit motor show, Lawler said Ranger and its spin-off Everest wagon were a “cornerstone” of the company’s international sales strategy.

He also noted that Thailand, where the Ranger is built, was establishing itself as a global hub for EV manufacturing.

“Thailand is going to be a hub for manufacturing zero emission vehicles. As these changes come around the world, we’re going to be part of that. You’re going to see that coming from Ford,” he said.

“Ranger is a huge opportunity for us and it’s the cornerstone for us,” he said.

He said both Ranger and Everest wagon were “incredibly important to us” and presented exciting opportunities for the future.

“There are great possibilities. And so whether it’s Ranger or it’s other possibilities to bring in and expand, perhaps globally, we will do that. So watch this space,” he said.

He also hinted the decision could be made earlier rather than later.

“Markets are moving at different speeds when it comes to the adoption of EVs but we also know that being a first mover or near first mover has been an advantage for us here. And so that’s a lesson learned that I think we’re going to lean into, but nothing to announce at this point,” he said.

At the launch of the current Ranger Ford engineers said the platform had been designed to accommodate electrification.

Lawler said the company had no intention of walking away from right-hand-drive markets.

“I think where the opportunities are is for us to lean into some specialty vehicles. But we’re not going to walk away from right-hand drive on our key products in the markets like Australia and such,” he said.

Earlier this year Ford announced plans to convert the F150 to right-hand drive in Australia.

It has contracted engineering firm RMA Automotive to “re-manufacture” the F-150 in Australia, in an extensive process that requires far more work than a repositioned steering wheel and new dashboard.

Dianne Craig, president of the international markets group for Ford, said there was scope to build on that relationship with other niche products.

“I think this opportunity and working with RMA to get creative, you know, could really provide some opportunity for us. We’ll see. I think the F150 right-hand drive conversions are great. A great example what we can do,” she said.

Lawler said the recent strong profitability of the region meant there were more opportunities to put resources into new programs.

“We’ve got some things in the works, but we need to keep delivering and leveraging the strengths in the market” he said.

Originally published as Ford Ranger EV looking more likely for Australia

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