By 2020, Ford wants 40 percent of its global lineup to be offered as a plug-in or hybrid variant.
To reach this goal, Ford will be investing $4.5 billion and adding 13 electrified models to its lineup, calling the is the “largest-ever electrified vehicle investment in a five-year period” for the company. The new models will put Ford’s total green fleet at about 18 models when you total in the carmaker’s current hybrids and plug-ins.
The November Dashboard from HybridCars.com lists two plug-ins (Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi), two hybrids (Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid) and one battery electric (Focus EV, pictured above) for Ford’s existing electrified line-up.
In the immediate future, Ford’s plans include a plug-in hybrid it will reveal at the Detroit auto show next month, and an updated Focus EV set to go on sale late next year. Beyond that, the automaker is saying little about its electrified powertrains, though Executive Vice President of Product Development Raj Nair did remark that plug-in cars can appeal to a large market.
“We still see feedback that people are concerned about range on a plug-in hybrid, which, really, to be honest, doesn’t make sense,” he said. “If we do [improve customer] education, we believe that plug-in hybrids make a lot of sense for a lot of consumers.”
Several different factors were taken into consideration when developing this initiative, according to Ford CEO Mark Fields. He listed future gasoline prices, which are expected to increase, as one of the reasons for increased plug-in and hybrid sales.
“In this business, you have to project where you see consumer demand going forward,” said Fields. “Our view ongoing is still that the price of a barrel of oil is going to go up over time, so it’s really important for us to anticipate that.”
Changing carbon emission standards also weighed in on Ford’s decision to add more electrified vehicles.
“We have the regulations that are out there – the one national standard. And we have to meet that.”
For the upcoming midterm review, set to evaluate where the industry is to meet future goals and adjust carbon emissions standards if necessary, Fields said regulators should take into consideration areas where current levels don’t match up with projections made in 2011.
“We want to be part of the solution, but we want to make sure it works for consumers and it works for us as a company,” he said. “There’s been some fundamental changes, particularly around oil supply, oil extraction costs, the ultimate end cost to the consumer and then the issue of what will this mean in terms of pricing to the consumer and what will it mean in terms of jobs. … Clearly, price and affordability is going to play an important part in this.”