The petrol-electric versions of two of Ford's most iconic models are among a planned 13 new global electrified cars to be rolled out over the next five years.
The moves are part of a $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020, $700 million of which will expand its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan into a factory that will build high-tech autonomous and EV/hybrid cars, creating 700 jobs.
Ford says the hybrid version of the Mustang will deliver "V8 power and even more low-end torque". The Mustang Hybrid, to be built at the Flat Rock Plant, debuts in 2020 and will be available in North America to start with. Clearly LHD is the priority for now.
Meanwhile the EcoBoost petrol-electric hybrid version of the F-150 pickup available by 2020 will be first sold in North America and the Middle East.
The F-150 Hybrid, built at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant, will offer "powerful towing and payload capacity" and will also be operable as a mobile generator for work sites.
Ford's model assault also includes a plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van in Europe and a fully electric global small SUV with an expected range of at least 400km.
“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,” said Ford president and CEO Mark Fields.
“Our investments and expanding line-up 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.
“Ford’s global EV strategy is to build on our strengths,” said Nair. “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.”
Ford is currently America’s top-selling plug-in hybrid brand and second in overall US electrified vehicle sales, and 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.
Ford already has a memorandum of understanding with several other automakers 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.
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 re-fueling distance is 680 miles
- 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 car
- 87 per cent of plug-in hybrid customers want another plug-in for their next vehicle