Ford will invest $4.5 billion in electric cars

Ford will invest $4.5 billion in electric cars

Ford World Headquarters in Michigan

Ford Motor Co will develop 13 new hybrid and electric vehicles by 2020, announcing on Thursday plans to invest $4.5 billion in the programme that aims to make 40% of the company’s fleet electric or hybrid, up form 13% today.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields also said the company will attempt to compete in the ride hailing industry, with the likes of Uber.

Ken Washington, Ford’s vice president of research, said “Our vision is to be a mobility service provider, beyond building a vehicle that would be in somebody else’s fleet. We see this as a business we want to be in.”

In the announcement, the automotive company also gave details on a new version of the electric Focus currently in development. The new car will reach 80% charged in 30 minutes, two hours faster than the current model. The car’s range will also increase from 76 miles to 100 miles.

That Ford, the second-largest US-based automaker after General Motors, is investing heavily in electric cars is a good sign for the industry. Electric car use around the world has slowly been growing. Electric cars accounted for 13.8% of new car sales in Norway in 2014, up from 6.1% in 2013, both years were the highest of any country. The next closest country was Netherlands with 3.9%. In the US, 0.7% of new car sales in 2014 were electric.

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  • Robert Fahey

    Tesla’s plot to “accelerate the advent of the electric car” seems to be working.

    • Alonzo Mt Dew Camacho

      Indeed it does.

  • Eric

    Careful Ford, you might be shooting yourself in the foot as the future of cars might be: “Mobile office/bed/shower/hotel as-a-service Campers”. When autonomous cars allow for you to “kick back and relax during the drive into work”, then people will discover: “why go home at all?” Make the car the home, it picks you up and drops you off. One drawback, the highway arteries will be packed tight as everyone does this. But on the bright side there won’t be crashes, so pace will be slow, but steady. Cities are about to get a lot more clogged unless all those cars, roaming for a parking space, have to drive 40 miles out to find a suitable spot. Can’t wait for the first report of: “My car ran away and it won’t come back, and it insults me when I ask it to come back.”

  • Peyton

    I see two big developments in future vehicles – 1 (the bigger one) is small autonomous “call-for-a-ride” vehicles as in Uber service, and 2 is throwback conversion-van-like autonomous vehicles where people can work or sleep or watch movies or play bridge or screw around en route to their destination…

  • By 2020, you will be forced to. Can’t you build them much earlier?

  • Ryan E

    Why not hydrogen , electric is impractical

    • dk

      I think hydrogen cars are electric. The hydrogen part creates the electricity if memory serves.

      • Alonzo Mt Dew Camacho

        Some of them are fuelcells (needlessly expensive and requires some of the rarest metals on the planet), others are actually just modified ICE motors… with big dumb tanks that hold a fraction of the fuel -hydrogen- – which tends to escape out of the tanks constantly… as hydrogen is very hard to store.

        • Phil@YVR

          Actual, fuelcells are used to generate electricity to drive the motor. Hydrogen cars are closer to Battery EV (i.e. Tesla) than ICE.

          • Ryan E

            You can convert a regular style internal combustion engine to run on Hydrogen , you know the most abundant source of energy on planet earth. But let’s mine for rare earth elements and rely on battery advancements to power the future. Seems legit!

      • Ryan E

        WRONG A hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicle (HICEV) is a type of hydrogen vehicle using an internal combustion engine.[1] Hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles are different from hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (which use elechrochemical conversion of hydrogen rather than combustion); the hydrogen internal combustion engine is simply a modified version of the traditional gasoline-powered internal combustion engine.[2]

        • dk

          Who said anything about internal combustion engines ? Who ?

    • Alonzo Mt Dew Camacho

      Electric is not impractical… Hydrogen is…

      Battery technology is better and better every few months, we already have a grid, and that is getting updated… Electric motors are the most efficient, and powerful motors we have… we can also wirelessly charge them as they drive down highways (with updated infrastructure)…

      Hydrogen is just a pipedream and a net EROI loser… besides you are not getting Hydrogen without electricity…

      Electrons are the only choice.

    • shaypoin
  • Ryan E

    Tesla nut swingers are just trendy followers with no real understanding to what the market needs.