Although slow off the mark in Europe with the introduction of the poor selling Focus Electric and a handful of mild hybrid models, Ford today released details of seven of the 13 new global electrified vehicles it plans to introduce in the next five years. Models include a plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van in Europe, hybrid versions of the iconic F-150 pickup and Mustang in the US, and a fully electric SUV with an expected range of at least 300 miles for customers globally.
The moves are part of a $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020, offering customers greater fuel efficiency across Ford’s global vehicle lineup. The plans are part of the company’s expansion to be an auto and a mobility company, including leading in electrified and autonomous vehicles and providing new mobility solutions.
Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO commented
“As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people’s lives better. Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”
Ford is focusing its EV plan on its areas of strength – electrifying its most popular, high-volume commercial vehicles, trucks, SUVs and performance vehicles to make them even more capable, productive and fun to drive.
- An all-new fully electric small SUV, coming by 2020, engineered to deliver an estimated range of at least 300 miles, to be sold in North America, Europe and Asia
- A Transit plug-in hybrid available in 2019 in Europe
- A high-volume autonomous vehicle designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing, starting in North America.
- The hybrid vehicle will debut in 2021 and will be built at the Flat Rock plant
- A hybrid version of the best-selling F-150 pickup available by 2020 and sold in North America and the Middle East.
- A hybrid version of the iconic Mustang that will deliver V8 power and even more low-end torque. The Mustang Hybrid will debut in 2020 and will be available in the North America to start
- Two new, pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles.
To support the new era of vehicles, Ford is adding 700 direct new jobs in the USA and investing $700 million during the next four years, creating the new Manufacturing Innovation Centre at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant. Employees there will build the all-new small utility vehicle with extended battery range as well as the fully autonomous vehicle for ride-hailing or ride-sharing – along with the iconic Mustang and Lincoln Continental.
This incremental investment in Flat Rock Assembly Plant comes from $1.6 billion the company previously had planned to invest in a new plant in Mexico.
Building on two decades of experience, Ford is applying knowledge and expertise to deliver patented technology, software and services to appeal to all customers including SUV owners, performance enthusiasts, high-volume commercial fleets and truck customers.
This year, Ford begins testing its new generation of EV technology. In Europe, Ford will put the Transit Custom plug-in hybrid on the road later this year, along with a new set of mobility services, telematics and connectivity solutions.
In addition, in New York and several major US cities, Ford is testing a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi and van prototypes in some of the world’s most demanding traffic conditions.
These Transit Connects build on the success of the world’s first hybrid taxi – the Ford Escape Hybrid – which was also the world’s first hybrid SUV and the first North American-built hybrid.
Ford say it has been extensively studying how past and current EV owners use their vehicles. The company has sold more than 520,000 electrified vehicles in North America since 2005 and 560,000 globally.
In studying 33,000 Ford EV owners that have made 58 million unique trips, Ford has learned:
88 per cent of customers’ habitual daily driving distance is 60 miles or less. For plug-in hybrids, the average refueling distance is 680 miles, making fuel station trips rare
Customers want as much electric range as possible, but range anxiety drops over time as they become more comfortable and familiar with the technology
80 per cent of Ford EV customers charge once a day; 60 per cent during evenings
Ford EV customers collectively have plugged in their vehicles a total of 9.4 million nights
An overwhelming majority of Ford EV owners expect to replace their current EV with a new one, additional Ford research shows. Specifically: 92 per cent of battery electric car customers say they will purchase another battery electric vehicle as their next purchase
And finally 87 per cent of plug-in hybrid customers want another plug-in for their next vehicle.
Armed with this knowledge Ford now seems more comfortable expanding its electric offering worldwide.