Ask Nathan: Electric Ford Bronco, Buying Hybrid vs. EV and TFL’s ‘Lackluster’ Approach?

2021 Ford Bronco

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Will there be a full electric Ford Bronco?
  • Should I buy a hybrid over an EV?
  • Addressing a viewer’s comment on TFL’s ‘lackluster’ approach to car content.

The first question comes from a Ford fan who thinks we’ll see a 2024 Ford Bronco EV.

Q:  TFL guys! Did you see the new Ford F-150 EV?

“I think it will trounce the competition before half of them even begin selling! It will kill Tesla and Rivian and GM. No doubt in my mind Ford will be king.

I think that the next thing they will do is build a 2024 Ford Bronco EV. Why do I think it will be a 2024? Well that’s because it will take a few years for the Ford F-150 EV to sell before demand increases. Do you know what I mean? But I think the 2024 Ford Bronco EV will crush the GMC Hummer EV.

Remember my name — I’m Mike K. from Brooklyn and I predicted this! If this comes true, I will be in college by then and I want to intern at TFL.

Ford just teased an all-electric F-150.

A: Hi Mike!

Thanks for sending an e-mail!

Your idea has merit, if you look at the way Ford is packaging the electric Ford F-150. It looks like that platform could be used by the company’s other vehicles. If you look closely at one of Ford’s diagrams on the matter, you can see how they package the components within what you’d expect from the typical truck frame.

The question should is this: Will there be enough consumer demand to build an electric Ford Bronco? Keep in mind, Ford is building the Mustang Mach-E, which is an all-electric crossover. That vehicle will cater to consumers who are looking for an alternative to the Tesla Model Y.

Will consumers be willing to bang around off-road in an electric-only vehicle? I think it will take a long time to convince hardcore off-road enthusiasts that electric models are viable alternatives. We may know more after a few purpose-built electric off-roaders hit the market.

It’s more likely we’ll see a hybrid Bronco first.

You’re totally right about the automaker having the tools, talent and ability to build something like an electric Ford Bronco. I think they will move a little bit slower on that front.

It will be interesting to see how the Ford F-150 Electric does. That may be the biggest indicator if smaller trucks, like the Bronco and Ranger, can make it with EV options.

— N

Speaking of EVs: This reader is comparing a used EV to a used hybrid and she’s seeking help.

Q: Can Ask Nathan help me choose between an electric vehicle and a plug-in hybrid?

I’m trying to choose between a 2018 Chevy Bolt (EV) and Chevy Volt (plug-in). What are the pros and cons?

— Valerie

A: Hi Valerie!

Great question.

Both are great commuter vehicles — two of the best in their respective segments back in 2018.

While their names are similar, both are very different vehicles. The Chevrolet Volt is a much more complex vehicle, using both EV and internal combustion power for day-to-day driving. It gives you a great alternative if you need that extra confidence needed with a gasoline-powered backup. There is no range anxiety.

That said, the Volt is an extremely complex machine with a wider range of moving parts. It may be less expensive to buy, but may end up costing just as much (if not more) than a regular car to maintain. Having effectively two powertrains and a ton of electronics linking them together may require professional attention should something go wrong.

mist green 2019 chevrolet bolt ev

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is brilliant, but it is limited in two ways. It’s strictly an EV, and it’s pretty small. Even after a few years, you should have plenty of range to make most commutes a breeze. Buy one new, and you’ll manage up to 259 miles on a charge. Even when they first debuted, you could get up to 238 miles. Their batteries shouldn’t degrade much in the first few years, so used examples should still manages well over 200 miles of range.

At the same time, it is less complex than a Volt and great for city commuters. I drove one all over Southern California for over a week for the LA Auto Show. It all comes down to the length of your commute and packaging needs. Honestly, if you have the electric infrastructure in your area that can support an EV, either works quite well. Personally, I would get the Bolt. It’s a fun little bugger and it’s one of the easiest day-to-day EVs I’ve driven.

Good luck!

— N

The last question/comment comes from a viewer who is “baffled how your channel gets access to vehicle and news before others because your lackluster approach to car content still is the worst and least entertaining big channel I’m aware of.”

Here’s the full comment for context:

“I still am baffled how your channel gets access to vehicle and news before others because your lackluster approach to car content still is the worst and least entertaining big channel I’m aware of. Your banter doesn’t land, your camera work is terrible and your misleading thumbnails infuriate me, yet somehow manufacturers are giving you access. The fact you guys are criticizing other types of content creation literally makes me laugh out loud. Please improve your content, it’s incredibly boring and most of the time not useful.” (Emphasis added)

I embedded the video in question below, where we discuss different kinds of car-related YouTube videos and how to categorize and identify what you may be watching. The user responds to our (admittedly snarky) response with his credentials, comparisons to other outlets, our shortcomings and his disappointment after watching us for over the past four years.

A: Here’s my response.

If you truly have our best interest in mind, and you’re not interested in any form of self promotion, why not send us an email? Coming from a professional, that would be more poignant. We receive a constant stream of (mostly constructive) feedback from our viewers, and it’s great material which we can use to help improve our videos.

Unfortunately, you opted to use a public forum to lambast our work. You opted to lambast our production team. The individual who left these comments claims to be a professional, yet starting off with “you’re the worst” is neither professional nor the best way to try and change someone’s mind.

I will say this: Our crew works their asses off producing hundreds of videos every year. They put in a ton of hard work, but I’m aware we’ll always be criticized regardless of that fact. Say what you want about the guys in front of the camera, but to put down our whole crew? To do that for self-promotion and proclamation of your own “expertise” is truly unprofessional.

Thanks to you guys who are more constructive in your feedback.

Regardless of the spirit in which the feedback was intended, we still look at comments from time to time to keep the pulse on what you all think of our videos.

Editor’s Note: More than just doing a “Nathan reads mean comments” response, we’d also like to take the opportunity here to thank all of you guys who do give us feedback in a more tactful way. Just remember: Even if you don’t like what we’re doing, there are people behind the videos here who give their all every day to make TFL what it is.