Lincoln is marking its 100-year anniversary with the debut of the brand’s first fully-electric vehicle.
By 2030, Lincoln plans to electrify its entire lineup of vehicles. The first all-electric Lincoln will join the plug-in hybrid Aviator and plug-in hybrid Corsair SUVs in 2022. It’ll be the first of four new and distinct all-electric vehicles under the Lincoln umbrella – all part of a huge commitment from Ford Motor Company’s massive investment of more than $30 billion US in electrification by 2025.
By 2025, Lincoln also expects half of its global sales volume to be zero-emission vehicles. Currently, Lincoln is experiencing strong sales growth globally. May 2021 was the best May for Lincoln worldwide in 20 years – with an overall sales gain of 128 per cent year over year. In Canada, the sales spike continues even higher. In May 2021, Lincoln sales were up 141 per cent compared to May of 2020. Growth was across all four SUVs in the family: Corsair was up 28 per cent, Nautilus was up 77 per cent, Aviator was up 54 per cent and Navigator increased by 25 per cent.
Joy Falotico, president of Lincoln Motor Company, is confident Lincoln’s new, luxury battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, will be adopted by consumers quickly. “If you look at the US at the total industry, pure EV is 2 per cent. If you look at the luxury side, you’ll see it’s more like 19 per cent. We’re already seeing that the adoption rate is higher in luxury, which makes sense because you typically see luxury buyers as more tech adopters,” says Falotico.
Details are still slim on Lincoln’s four BEVs. The vehicles will be built on the company’s new rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive flexible battery electric vehicle architecture. Inside, the electric Lincolns will follow in the footsteps of its gas-powered siblings with interiors designed to be a relaxing, “serene environments.”
“We tend to think of our vehicles as a ‘Me’ space. Electrification helps us make it a ‘We’ space because of the architecture,” says Kemal Curic, global design director at Lincoln Motor Company.
Artist sketches provide a glimpse of Lincoln’s future BEVs with a minimalistic interior and four or six spacious seats. Renditions showcase large windows and a massive panoramic vista glass roof. New digital sensory experiences include a rainbow of interior ambient light colours, numerous massage seat functions and even a new scent setting to provide warm aromas throughout the cabin.
Lincoln is also promising a new tech stack in its vehicles, with updates to its Lincoln Way app to provide more capabilities, Alexa built-in digital assistance, and over-the-air software updates. In 2023, Google-powered automotive services will also be added for more connectivity features. Lincoln will also introduce new advanced driver-assist features called Lincoln ActiveGlide. The hands-free, semi-autonomous technology is designed for highway driving; it uses cameras, radar and driver monitoring systems to allow a driver to operate hands-free on prequalified sections of divided highways.
Lincoln’s business model for selling vehicles is shifting, too, moving more towards online purchases and small boutique stores positioned in high-traffic, unexpected areas similar to those operated by Tesla and Genesis. In the U.S., 28 of Lincoln’s brand-exclusive Vitrine boutiques have opened with another 50 on the way. In Canada, Lincoln is planning to open several similar boutiques across the country to complement existing traditional dealerships. The first boutique space, dubbed Downtown Lincoln, will debut in downtown Toronto later this summer.
The company won’t confirm whether any of Lincoln’s four new BEVs will be built on Canadian soil, even as Ford’s assembly plant in Oakville, Ont. transitions to become Canada’s largest electric manufacturing facility. Five all-new electric vehicles are expected to roll off the line in Oakville, Ont. in 2025. Currently, the gas-powered Lincoln Nautilus is built at that facility.