Ford Launching Mondeo Energi And Electric Small SUV in China

Ford Motor Co. is expanding its presence in China’s burgeoning plug-in electrified vehicle market with two vehicle launches and by adding manufacturing facilities.

One, based on the European version of the Fusion, is the Mondeo Energi plug-in hybrid to be launched early next year. It will be the first PHEV manufactured by Ford’s state-mandated joint venture partner, Changan Ford JV, which is a collaboration with Changan Automobile. The Mondeo already was released as a non-plug-in hybrid version in China in November 2016.

Ford also announced that an all-electric small SUV will come to China in five years. Ford says it will go more than 450 kilometers (279.6 miles) on a single charge, and it will also be sold in North America and Europe.

Ford will be offering a wide range of electrified vehicles to the Chinese market by 2025 through hybrids, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles. The company sees 70 percent of all Ford nameplates coming with an electrified option by that year, and that will include all of its products manufactured jointly through Changan Ford.

“The time is right for Ford to expand our EV lineup and investments in China,” said Ford president and CEO Mark Fields. “We are prioritizing our electrification efforts on China to reflect its importance as a global electrified vehicle market and to make lives better, simpler and more cost effective for Chinese consumers.”

Fields will provide more information on the global automaker’s electrification strategy at a special event in Shanghai on April 8.

China appears to a more important market to Ford for plug-in vehicles than the U.S., which so far has seen a limited presence. The Ford Fusion Energi has been doing better in U.S. sales in the past couple of years, but the C-Max Energi is scheduled to end production soon. Battery electric vehicle sales have been limited to the Ford Focus EV, which has never been a strong seller in the domestic electric car market.

Fields has been clear with President Donald Trump that the automaker would like to see the federal fuel economy and emissions rules relaxed. He prefers to see consumer demand as the benchmark for strategic decisions on bringing more electrified and fuel efficient vehicles to America.

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The company says it’s pleased to see strong Chinese government support for new energy vehicles through generous subsidies. Growing consumer acceptance of electric drive technology is also helping. Ford cited a forecast from the Society of Automotive Engineers of China that by 2025 NEVs should make up over 15 percent of passenger vehicle sales in that market.

Manufacturing these vehicles in China will start by 2020 for Ford. The automaker will be expanding NEV engineering capabilities at its Nanjing Research and Engineering Centre. Chinese customer needs will be part of the research as Ford’s next generation EV technologies are being designed.

The Mondeo Hybrid is being built jointly through Changan Ford. It was designed to impress car shoppers in the market through attractive exterior styling, LED headlights, and by being packed with dashboard technology features. A high-performance lithium-ion 1.4-kilowatt-hour battery, which is smaller and lighter than previous batteries, provides some of that power.

Ford’s NEV team is working on advancements in charge cords and ports. It will continue localizing EV technologies and systems such as batteries, battery pack assembly, and powertrain controls validation and calibration.

“Ford is committed to developing smarter, greener mobility solutions for the future, and our team in China will be at the forefront of this innovation,” said Trevor Worthington, vice president, product development, Ford Asia Pacific.


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