Ford to invest heavily in electric vehicles with new models due by 2020

15 January 2018

15 January 2018

Ford has announced a large investment in vehicle electrification and plans to roll out new models over the next five years to take advantage of changing consumer attitudes.

The company has dropped behind rivals with its electrification plans in recent years; however following the appointment of its new CEO, Jim Hackett in May 2017, Ford is looking towards the future with both electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous driving concepts as it looks to prepare itself for the future.

Now, the carmaker has said it will spend $11 billion (€9 billion) on electric technology by 2022 and will roll out 16 fully electric vehicles within five years, with the first model arriving by 2020. In total, the company will bring a total of 40 electrified vehicles to the market, with a further 24 hybrid or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles.

Ford had committed to spending $4.5 billion (€3.7 billion) to develop 13 electrified vehicles over a five-year period, including one battery electric: a 300-mile range crossover expected in 2020. The company announced the expanded plans after revealing the 2019 Ranger, Edge ST and Mustang Bullitt the Detroit auto show.

′We’re all in, and the only question is will the customers be there with us?’ Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman, told reporters.

At the show, Ford hinted at a performance battery electric vehicle called Mach 1, coming in 2020. Raj Nair, Ford’s president of North America, said the vehicle could be a crossover based on the Mustang. Basing EVs on existing nameplates that customers know, such as the Mustang, can help the company make the vehicles more successful, Bill Ford said.

′The idea is we’re going to electrify our most iconic vehicles,’ he said.

Ford announced in October that it is to move money from traditional engine development and put it into EV research. Hackett said that Ford would be cutting capital expenditure on internal combustion engines by a third, redeploying that capital into electrification, on top of $4.5 billion (€3.7 billion) the company has already planned to spend. It is likely that the new investment is made up of some of this financial movement.

The automaker is also to launch 50 new vehicles into the Chinese market by 2025, including 15 electrified models, as the company pushes sales growth in what is becoming a key market for all vehicle manufacturers. This will be in collaboration with its Chinese partner Anhui Zotye Automobile.

The announcement comes three months after Ford set up a group of employees, dubbed Team Edison, to study vehicle electrification.

Photograph courtesy of Ford