Ford to boost investments in electric vehicles
In light of the rising global popularity of electric and autonomous vehicles, Ford, one of the world’s biggest car makers, has stated that it plans to boost investments in electric vehicles to $11 billion in the next 5 years. Ford’s Chairman, Bill Ford, presented the company’s plan to electrify existing models by 2022, at the recent Detroit Auto Show.
Ford’s previous electric budget amounted to a mere $4.5 billion by 2020, compared to the new pledge. By investing more than double the current amounts dedicated to electric vehicles, Ford plans to offer a “very wide range” of electric vehicles in Europe and the U.S.
Ford will manufacture 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles by 2022. The new fleet of the company will, thus, consist of 16 fully electric vehicles and 24 plug-in hybrids, among which an electric sports car.
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.
Global auto electrification
Competitors like General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen have already presented their plans for electric and autonomous vehicles. GM is taking brave steps in autonomous driving, having stated that it will add 20 new battery electric and fuel cell vehicles to its fleet by 2023. Toyota is currently testing its autonomous cars in Silicon Valley and working on revolutionary electric delivery compartments called e-Palettes. Volkswagen has also previously stated that it will double its investment in electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by spending $40 billion until the end of 2022.
Moreover, Ford briefed preliminary information about its first performance electric vehicle, Mach 1, without providing further details regarding its specifications. The Mach 1 will be an SUV inspired by a Mustang sports car, produced in the 1960s and 70s, released in 2020. The car maker announced another more fuel-efficient version of the Ranger pick-up truck, Ranger 2019, which will have a 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine, 10-speed auto transmission and automatic emergency braking.
Challenging times for global EV makers
According to analysts, Ford’s move is part of a larger trend of focusing on vehicles electrification. Car manufacturers and regulatory institutions are tackling the emergence of electric vehicles, which covering 1% of the market, are still at a nascent phase. Based on the current state of the market, the future success of electric and autonomous vehicles will be dependent on consumer preferences, affordability, appropriate roads and charging infrastructure.