With countries, including France, India, UK and China pledging to phase out fossil fuel and combustion engined powered vehicles between 2030 and 2040, carmakers are increasingly focussing their future lineup to tap these big markets.
At the Detroit auto show, Bill Ford, Ford Motor Co’s Chairman unveiled the carmaker’s plans of investing $11 billion by 2022 in order to to have at least 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its car lineup.
This amount is significantly higher than the previously disclosed target of $4.5 billion by 2020, said Ford executives; the $11 billion figure includes the cost of developing dedicated electric vehicle architectures.
For 2016, the carmaker’s R&D expenses were $7.3 billion, up from $6.7 billion in 2015.
In October, Ford’s CEO Jim Hackett had told investors that the firm would cut $14 billion in costs spread over the next 5 years shift its capital investment away from internal combustion engines to hybrid and electric vehicles.
Of the 40 electrified vehicles Ford plans for its global lineup by 2022, 16 will be fully electric and the rest will be plug-in hybrids, said Ford’s executives.
“We’re all in on this and we’re taking our mainstream vehicles, our most iconic vehicles, and we’re electrifying them. If we want to be successful with electrification, we have to do it with vehicles that are already popular,” said Ford’s executives to reporters.
As per Jim Farley, Ford president of global markets, the firm will bring high-performance electric utility vehicle to the market by 2020 and will begin the production of a hybrid version of its F-150 truck, a popular model, at its plant in Dearborn, Michigan, in 2020.
“What we learned from this first cycle of electrification is people want really nice products,” said Farley.
Ford’s strategic focus to EVs is more than 6 months in the making and has come about with Hackett replacing former Chief Executive Mark Fields in May.
As per a source familiar with the process, the plan was finalized in recent months after an extensive review. In fact, in October, the carmaker formed to team to accelerate development of electric vehicles with a mission to “think big” and “make quicker decisions.”
As per Sherif Marakby, vice president of Ford’s autonomous vehicles and electrification, one of the aims of Ford’s “Team Edison”l is to identify and develop electric-vehicle partnerships with other companies, including suppliers.
Countries, including, India, UK, France and China have announced plans on phasing out combustion engines and fossil fuel powered vehicles between 2030 and 2040.