Ford Takes Name Tesla Tried to Use

Elon Musk's company had designs on a "Model E" nearly a decade ago.

Ford announced it would split its internal combustion and electric vehicle operations into individual businesses with the goal of advancing its adoption of new technology.

Fresh off its win over Tesla for top EV pick according to Consumer Reports, the automaker out of Michigan said its transition to an EV company is progressing. 

Not only did the Mustang Mach-E deny Tesla’s Model 3 a third consecutive year atop the EV rankings, but Ford’s new name for its electric vehicle business might bring up a sore spot for Tesla regarding the Model 3. 

Ford will name its gasoline division Ford Blue and its EV business will be called Ford Model e. It just so happens that Tesla was gunning for that same name almost 10 years ago.

In 2014, Tesla already had Model S and Model X. Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed to CNN Money that the company had ambitions of making the Model E to form, well, you can figure it out. 

But, alas, Ford blocked Tesla’s pursuit. Ford and Tesla entered into a contract in 2010 in which Tesla agreed it would not use or register Model E. Tesla attempted to register the Model E trademark and Musk said Ford called him, threatening to sue if Tesla used the trademark. 

So Tesla flipped the capital E around and created the Model 3 sedan to keep its suggestive theme. The company even went a step further and came out with a Model Y SUV.  

Ford utilized other letters for its model names such as A, B, C, F and K, albeit in the early 20th century. But it never used E and has sued to prevent the usage of the name, claiming it sounded too similar to its iconic Model T. 

So what makes Ford’s new Model e business so different? This time, the e is lowercase.

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