Ford’s electric future
- Ford confirms seven of 13 new global electrified vehicles coming in next five years, including Transit Custom plug-in hybrid
- Company testing EV prototypes this year in Europe and US cities
- Fully electric SUV with range of at least 300 miles planned
- Investing £568 million and adding 700 direct new jobs in Flat Rock (Michigan) Assembly Plant for electrified and autonomous vehicles
- Ford is piloting wireless technology that makes recharging an electric vehicle as easy as pulling into a parking bay
A PLUG-IN hybrid Transit Custom will be available in Europe in two years following trials starting this year, Ford has announced in a major masterplan for a shift to electrification.
Ford says it is to improve lives but the move comes with diesel bans planned for European capital cities Paris, Athens and Madrid, joining a global movement following Tokyo.
And major emissions curbs are planned with ultra low emission zones (ULEZ) for the UK cities of London, Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton.
The pace of change is such that Ford president and CEO Mark Fields predicts that electrified vehicles will outnumber those relying on fossil fuels in 15 years.
Within three years there will also be a hybrid F-150 pick-up truck but initially only for the United States and Middle East, and a powerful hybrid V8 Mustang, again initially only for the US market, but also a fully electric SUV with an expected range of at least 300 miles for customers globally.
The moves are part of a £3.65 billion investment in electrified vehicles within three years, offering customers greater fuel efficiency, capability and power across Ford’s global vehicle line-up by 2020.
The plans are part of the company’s expansion to be both an automotive and a mobility company, including leading in electrified and autonomous vehicles and providing new mobility solutions.
It also announced plans to invest £568 million to expand its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan into a factory that will build high-tech autonomous and electric vehicles , creating 700 direct new jobs.
Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO, said: “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.
The global electrified vehicles just announced include:
- 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 Europe, North America and Asia
- A Transit Custom plug-in hybrid available in 2019 in Europe, engineered to help reduce operating costs in even the most congested streets
- 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 built at the Flat Rock plant
- A hybrid version of the best-selling F-150 pick-up available by 2020 and sold in North America and the Middle East. The F-150 Hybrid will offer powerful towing and payload capacity and operate as a mobile generator
- A hybrid version of the iconic Mustang that will deliver V8 power and even more low-end torque to debut in 2020 and be available in North America to start
In addition the company also plans to be as aggressive in developing global electrified vehicle services and solutions. These include EV fleet management, route planning and telematics solutions.
Building the future
Unique electrification technology
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.
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.
Raj Nair, executive vice president, product development, and chief technical officer, said: “Ford’s global EV strategy is to build on our strengths.
“While some others seem to be focused on marketing claims and numbers, we’re focused on providing customers even more of what they love about their Ford vehicles. This means more capability for trucks, more productivity for commercial vehicles and more performance for sports cars – plus improved fuel economy.”
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.
Today, Ford is America’s top-selling plug-in hybrid brand and second in overall US electrified vehicle sales.
New services for electric vehicles
Applying approximately two decades of leadership in EVs and commercial vehicles, Ford also is working on a suite of services to make EVs even easier to live with.
“Innovative services can be as important to customers as the electrified vehicles themselves,” said Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president of Purchasing and Ford’s EV champion. “We are investing in solutions to help private customers as well as commercial fleet owners seamlessly incorporate these new vehicles and technologies into their lives.”
Ford already has a memorandum of understanding with several other car makers in Europe to create an ultra-fast charging network projected to be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today. An initial target of about 400 sites in Europe is planned.
By 2020, consumers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points.
Ford also is piloting wireless technology on company EVs in the US and Europe that make recharging as easy as pulling into a parking spot so drivers never forget to recharge. Wireless recharging extends electric-only range for short distance commuters, even during quick stops. FordPass also can help consumers reserve charging times.
560,000 electric vehicle sales
Ford 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.