The Tesla Model 3 is captivating the entire auto industry from the close to 500,000 people who reserved the vehicle to other automakers who want to learn from it.
Now, a Model 3 was spotted being tested on Ford’s campus.
Automakers have been really interested in Tesla vehicles for a long time now – especially German automakers.
Earlier this year, we reported that two Tesla Model 3 vehicles were spotted in air freight inbound for Germany and we later learned that a German automaker reverse-engineered the electric vehicle and came out quite impressed.
A year earlier, Audi did the same thing to the Model X, but they did it by buying their own Model X in the US before it was available in Europe.
Now the Dearborn-based automaker is apparently turning its attention to the Model 3. Mark, a friend of the site, spotted a Model 3 being tested on Ford’s Campus near their “Innovation Center”:
We reached out to Ford for a comment on the vehicle. We’ll update this post if we hear back.
As you can see in the pictures, the vehicle has the VIN #6047 and it appears to be equipped with a sensor inside.
They also have taped over the set of 3 cameras on the top of the Model 3’s windshield.
As we previously reported, Ford doesn’t have much to show for when it comes to all-electric vehicles aside for the Focus Electric, a compliance car converted from the gas-powered version, but the automaker is planning a new EV push starting in 2020.
Last year, Ford’s new CEO, Jim Hackett formed a new internal team, called ‘Team Edison’, to oversee electric car programs and he shifted one-third of internal combustion engine investments to electric cars, but the company is still investing more in the former.
The company’s electrification plan is still hybrid heavy over all-electric, but Ford announced an acceleration of its electric effort with 16 all-electric models and 24 hybrids earlier this year.
Last week, they unveiled their “refresh lineup for 2020”, which is when they plan to introduce their first all-electric vehicle built to be electric from the ground up, an all-electric CUV with 300 miles of range.
Ford could also be interested in Tesla’s self-driving effort through its Autopilot program since they seem to be playing with their sensors.
The automaker has its own autonomous driving effort with a fleet of test vehicles.