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Will Ford Release a Compact EV in 2026?

POR: Amanda Walter
Woman plugging electric charger into car in front of her home

As a growing number of drivers are looking for greener transportation solutions, electric vehicles (EVs) have surged in popularity. Unfortunately, the higher sticker price of buying a new EV from a car dealership makes the dream of owning an EV cost-prohibitive for many Americans. Although recent data shows that the average price of an EV has fallen, electric vehicles are still more expensive than gas cars.

If you feel like your goal of owning an electric car is just out of reach, rest assured all hope is not lost. The Chinese car industry has all but flipped the EV market upside down, flooding the European market with cost-effective electric vehicle options. According to a report from the International Energy Agency, nearly half of the EVs driving on the roads today are found in China. Soon, this trend is expected to jump the pond and find its way to America.

To combat the growing competition, Ford has shifted its focus from introducing large EVs, like the three-row electric SUV they were working on, to entry-level and affordable compact EVs. The first compact Ford EV is expected to be released at the end of 2026 at a starting price point hovering around $25,000 — comparable to a compact crossover EV from Tesla scheduled for 2025.

Potential Features of Ford’s New Compact EV

During a February 2024 conference call, Ford CEO Jim Farley announced to attendees that Ford intends to prioritize the research and development of a low-cost electric vehicle platform. While he didn’t elaborate at that point, an insider later told Bloomberg that the platform is expected to include a compact EV, a small electric pickup truck similar to the ever-popular Ford Maverick, and even, eventually, a dedicated ride-hailing vehicle.

The budget-conscious transition is spearheaded by none other than Alan Clarke, Tesla’s former Director of New Programs Engineering who worked on the development of the best-selling Tesla Model Y before moving to Ford in January 2022. He is being joined by an elite team of 100 of the top EV engineers, who together, plan to create cutting-edge features to help these budget-friendly EVs stand out even among other popular EV models.

The first of the trio in the affordable EV platform expected to be released is Ford’s new compact EV. Rather than operating on a lithium-ion battery, this new platform is exploring the use of a lithium-iron-phosphate battery (LiFePo 4 or LFP battery). These batteries currently cost about 30% of the price of the standard lithium-ion battery. These batteries currently power many vehicles in the Chinese market and may find their niche in their American counterparts. However, this isn’t the only battery technology that Ford is considering in their development of the economical EV line.

The EV Landscape in 2026

Although the upfront cost of buying an electric vehicle may still be higher than that of a conventional gas-powered vehicle, the price of electric cars has been on a downward trend over the last few years. This is expected to continue due to:

  • More availability in the market
  • Reduced costs of EV parts (like the battery)
  • Increased competition

Thanks in part to stronger government policies in the United States, lower costs, and increased awareness of toxins released by Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles, the demand for green-energy vehicles is expected to grow. According to BloombergNEF (BNEF), 2026 electric vehicle sales are expected to triple those of 2022. That would mean that approximately 28% of passenger vehicles and 27 million vehicles total will be electric by 2026.

However, electric vehicles don’t just stop in the passenger vehicle market, like sedans, SUVs or even heavy-duty vehicles. The demand for electric cars is now growing in other areas, including:

  • Ride-hailing vehicles
  • Fleet vehicles
  • Light duty trucks
  • Buses
  • Bicycles

Charging an electric vehicle until the battery is full uses approximately the same amount of electricity as it does to run a home. The accelerated evolution and expansion of the electrification of vehicles could no doubt put strain on aging city infrastructure. Therefore, there will be an increased demand not just to install ample charging stations, but also to upgrade service wiring and power distribution infrastructure.

Ford’s Competitive Edge

To date, the market for inexpensive electric vehicles has been virtually untapped in the United States. Ford hopes to attract car buyers looking for a reliable yet affordable compact electric car with a reliable option with cutting-edge technology. Focusing on innovation and driver’s needs with a price tag in the vicinity of $25,000 will make it a stand-out competitor in the electric vehicle market.

Consumer Expectations: 4 Considerations for Buyers

Once the already highly-anticipated Ford compact EVs hit the market, they will likely cause a stir. However, just like any new vehicle, they’ll need to hold their own under the intense scrutiny of discerning EV buyers. Here are a few things EV buyers look for:

Price

Since the new compact electric car platform is intended to launch in the realm of $25,000, it will be an attractive option for the budget-conscious EV shopper. The target market will likely be comparing it to similarly priced competitors on the market, like the anticipated $30,000 Tesla compact crossover.

Performance

What good is saving money on an EV if it doesn’t perform? The new Ford lineup is expected to strike a balance between performance and lower pricing. Once the Ford compact EV releases, discerning shoppers will compare the price with the overall performance, looking at performance factors like:

  • Acceleration
  • Top speed
  • Horsepower
  • Range per charge
  • Driving experience

Safety Features

No matter whether you’re shopping for a heavy-duty pickup truck or a compact SUV electric vehicle, safety and reliability are nearly always near the very top of the priority list. The Ford development team is likely to focus on advanced safety systems while keeping the cost affordable, exploring popular features available in other Ford models as well as potentially introducing new technology.

Eco-Friendliness

Since EVs are notoriously considered better for the environment than their conventional counterparts, the majority of electric vehicle shoppers will be in tune with the eco-friendliness of the new Fords. Environmental benefits that may be under scrutiny are:

  • Zero emissions
  • Sustainability of materials
  • Energy efficiency

The Role of Extended Warranties in the EV Era

With the continued rise in the demand for electric vehicles and increased EV production inevitably comes an influx of new and improved EV models. As with any new technology, bugs, and errors are intentionally resolved in newer models. Although electric vehicles are notoriously reliable, the hope is that they will only continue to improve.

Unfortunately, with car ownership comes the inevitability of mechanical breakdowns, no matter which vehicle you purchase. The difference is that with EVs, the car repair costs and parts replacements can be significantly higher than the conventional gas counterparts.

The price fluctuation can be attributed to the complexity of advanced technology components, the fact that replacement parts can be difficult to find, and the fact that it can be difficult to find an ASE Certified mechanic who is experienced in performing the repairs. Therefore, while you may not be spending money at the gas pump, the unexpected cost of repairs can put a strain on any budget.

If you have a brand-new electric car, you’re likely covered by a bumper-to-bumper warranty offered by the automaker. Factory warranties are great and provide peace of mind that when you buy a new car, you’re financially protected against any mechanical breakdown that happens. Unfortunately, these manufacturer warranties eventually expire, and unless you have an extended car warranty, you are left to cover the bill when something breaks. Thankfully, there are extended warranty providers that can fill the gap and be the financial safety net if and when something goes wrong.

If you choose to buy an extended warranty with a third-party provider like Endurance Warranty, Olive, CARCHEX, or CarShield, you can drive confidently on the road ahead, knowing that if a part should fail unexpectedly, you’re protected against the high costs of repairing or replacing your vital but often pricey advanced technology components. Not only that, but with auto protection plans from an extended auto warranty provider, you’re likely to get additional perks that aren’t offered by car dealerships, such as:

Preparing for Purchase: Tips for Prospective Buyers

When you’re preparing to buy Ford’s compact EV – or any other vehicle for that matter – it should never be an impulse decision. Before paying the hefty purchase price of a new EV or even the anticipated price of the low-cost EV, take the time to consider all aspects of electric car ownership, including:

Total Cost of Ownership

As we all get acquainted with the electrification of vehicles, it is important to understand that the total cost of ownership won’t be the same as for gas-powered cars. Collectively, we all became so used to the inherent cost of paying for gasoline and oil changes that it became almost a forgotten budgeting expense – like that monthly payment for cloud storage or subscription entertainment services. Although there isn’t the hefty cost of gasoline, there are other expenses to consider before buying:

  • Initial cost
  • Steep depreciation
  • Battery replacement & other repairs
  • Charging costs
  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Taxes and fees to register

Long-Term Value

When you make a significant investment, like buying an EV, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth. While many car owners with electric models feel that the savings gained from eliminating fuel costs are sufficient, some potential buyers are more interested in how well the vehicle will hold its value in case they decide to sell it in the future.

As soon as you sign for a vehicle – gas or electric- and drive away with it, the investment immediately loses value; that is, it depreciates. Electric vehicles are still relatively new in the grand scheme of things, so there isn’t any long-term data. However, early reports do indicate that EVs depreciate at a faster rate than ICE cars. According to a study done by iseecars.com, electric vehicles lost half of their value in as little as five years, ranking them as the worst vehicles for holding their values.

Extended Car Warranty Options

With the high price of EV car repairs, it is important to consider all of your car warranty options for EVs. The right EV extended warranty can save you time, money, and stress when disaster strikes. When comparing vehicle service contracts (VSCs) from different car warranty providers, you’ll want to make sure you have comprehensive protection with limited exclusions or limitations. EV technologies continue to evolve at a rapid pace, and you deserve the peace of mind that everything is taken care of.

Find the Best Extended Warranty for Electric Vehicles

The best way to prepare for a financial disaster is before it happens. Learn more about how Endurance Warranty can help you protect your wallet and your electric or hybrid vehicle today. Our award-winning team is looking forward to answering your call and helping to match you with the best auto protection plan for you based on your needs, budget, and lifestyle.

Contact an Endurance plan advisor at (800) 253-8203 a request your FREE quote. If you’re short on time or would prefer to do your own research, you can choose to tienda en linea para ver su precio ahora.

You can also get answers to many of your frequently asked questions on the Blog Endurance. Learn about the maintenance needs of electric vehicles, find out if EVs are reliable, and more.

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