In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- Lots of rumors about a possible Ford Maverick EV?
- Are Tesla’s safe?
- A good car for a short person?
The first question comes from a fan who wants to know: will we see a Ford Maverick EV?
Q: (Via: Twitter@NathanAdlen) I think that we’re hearing hints about a Ford Maverick EV?
We know that the Ford Lightning is crazy super popular and I bet a Ford Maverick EV would sell like crazy too. Like if you took part of the Mustang MachE battery and motors to put them in. Make it cost like 30 thousand dollars and have a 300 mile range!
A: I think you’re on to something, but a Ford Maverick EV may be more complicated.
Here’s the good news: Recently, Ford CEO Jim Farley said Ford is working on its second all-new electric truck model. There are a few possibilities here. For one thing, the Lightning already builds everything from a base model Pro model, all the way up to a fully loaded Platinum. As such, they cover electric trucks between the $40,000 – $90,000 bracket.
If Ford was looking to dominate the market, they need to look at the $25,000 – $40,000 bracket. This means that they would need to build a truck using existing components. That leaves only a few options on the table.
Here are a few rumors:
Ford Ranger EV
Option one: A Ford Ranger electric pickup truck. We covered part of this before, but there is still a lot of buzz on this truck. For one thing, the Ranger could use a smaller version of the platform (battery & frame sandwich) that underpins the F-150 Lightning. The biggest issue for most EVs is battery weight. The smaller battery available on the Lightning weighs 1,800 lbs. That 98.0 kWh battery allows the larger Lightning to go up to 230 miles. A smaller, lighter pickup might get by using a smaller and lighter battery. Maybe.
Ford Maverick EV
Right now, the Ford Maverick hybrid has a 1.1 kWh battery. That small battery is meant to store and produce energy, and is not meant to move the vehicle any distance solo. In other words, unlike a PHEV, that needs lots of battery power, this standard hybrid setup doesn’t. Now, what if Ford used the shell of the Maverick, and made a front, and all-wheel drive (AWD) variant built around a 50 or 60 kWh battery? Well, that’s a popular rumor, behind the scenes.
Ford Courier EV
The strangest rumor comes from a fan who swears up and down that Ford is using the Ford Mustang Mach-E platform for a pickup. According to this rumor, the truck will be named “Courier” and it will be the least expensive electric vehicle you can buy. I’m not so sure about this one.
Yes, Ford is working on another electric pickup truck. That’s the only thing we can confirm. On top of that, it means that the other automakers are falling even further behind. The next few years will be highly revealing.
The next question comes from a viewer who wants to know if Teslas are safe.
Q: (Via: YouTube) Nathan. I just watched your Ford Mustang Mach E GT video.
I currently own a Toyota Prius V, and I love it. In a few months, I’m thinking about going all electric. I like TFL electric videos because you guys are honest and discover the pros and cons with us. I remember the days when you guys were’t so sure about electric cars. Now you even own one that gets a ton of love, the Mini.
As I began to look I realized that I am not a big Ford fan. I think I would rather have a Tesla. I have a few issues with Tesla, namely the owner. He is so polarizing that I can’t easily justify giving him my hard earned money. I’m sure the rest of the gus at Tesla aren’t so self indulgent and narcissistic. Never mind all of his Twitter silliness.
Then I remembered that there is a ton of media out there about Teslas catching fire.
My question to you is if you would consider another Tesla after owning three? Do you care if Elon is a jerk? Is it a safe car? And would you suggest an alternative to the mid level Model-Y?
Thanks Nathan and company! You make cars fun!
- Blake E
A: Howdy, and thanks for your viewership!
Let me get this part out of the way: Tesla’s have fantastic powertrains and technology, with substandard workmanship. Things do go wrong with these cars, such as ill-fitting components, and compromised components. With that being said, Tesla has built one of the safest cars out there.
Yes, there have been a few that caught fire. So far, inb 2022, there have been 23 fires, and four fatalities. This is according to Tesla’s own accounting. I added their chart below.
What this chart fails to display is the amount of fires from other automakers. If you measure Tesla’s safety ratings to almost every other automaker, the numbers of fatalities are remarkably low. I’m not saying this because I’m a fan (I’m not), it just the truth. Many media outlets are pushing a negative Tesla narrative because of its boss. I’m just looking at the numbers, and my own experience.
To me, Tesla isn’t the company it once was. I think there are some compelling alternatives out there that have higher quality, better design and much better customer (& media) relations. Despite the outstanding engineering below, it’s not enough to convince me that Tesla is any better than the competition.
Speaking of which, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and its cousin, the Kia EV6 are outstanding alternatives. Seriously, some of the best EVs that compete with the Model Y come from Hyundai and Kia. On top of that, there’s the new Toyota bZ4x – which appears to be a good alternative as well, according to Tommy.
The last question comes from a fan who’s looking for a vehicle to fit her size and daily routine.
Q: This message is for Nathan Adlen, RE: a good car for a short person who has many dogs!
Hi Nathan! My name is Jana and I live in Milwaukee. I saw your video on the Lexus U X and i thought it was very imaginative. Just like J, I am very short. I was measured at 4 feet, 10 and 1/2 inches at my last checkup. So I know that many cars just aren’t right for me.
I drive a 2011 Toyota RAV4 and I would like to get something new. The best part of my RAV4 is that it is ideal to hold my four dogs. They are all different, and my big boy “Shep” is heavier than I am. He’s a huge mutt with some St Bernard in him. My other dogs are much smaller. My littlest one is Belle, she is a dainty toy poodle. And she’s kind of old. The other two are medium sized mutts who are pretty chill compared to the big and small one.
I liked the Lexus U X you reviewed. I’m not sure if it’s big enough for my pups. I drive them almost everywhere I go. So I work from home and the pups are used to going to the big dog park that’s not too far from my place. We go almost every day rain or shine. Being that I live in Wisconsin, snow is an issue and I will need four wheel driving wheels. Oh yes, I need it to get good gas mileage with all of the pricy gas today!
The puppies and I would love your input! I am looking for a car with a hatch that’s easy enough for me to drive and hold my puppies too. My budget is under $50,000 and it has to be new. It has to also hold a full size dog crate along with two medium ones and a small one. My RAV4 can barely do it.
Thank you Nathan!
A: Hi Jana!
Yes, you’re right, the Lexus UX is probably too small for your needs. In fact, I’m willing to bet that many SUVs and crossovers are a bit of a pain. Am I right?
My sister is about 5’2″ and has issues with many vehicles as well. That’s why I try to think of her needs when I evaluate a vehicle.
I have a few rhetorical questions –
- Have you considered something other than an SUV?
- Would you be willing to drive a minivan?
Here’s my recommendation, and it’s pretty simple. Buy a Toyota Sienna all-wheel drive (AWD) minivan. They are fantastic, combining AWD with a hybrid system. These vas are both economical and capabil. On top of that, I know that my sister likes the ease of entry and exit in most minivans.
They are usually built for drivers of various sizes, and your dogs should have an easier time getting in and out.
You can get a well optioned 2022 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD for about $44,000.
Speaking of minivans…