Ford will invest $4.5 billion in electric cars
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.