Ford to Double Investment in EV, Hybrids by 2022

The Ford Motor Co. has said it will invest $4.5 billion to develop 13 electric and hybrid vehicles by 2022.
Ford to Double Investment in EV, Hybrids by 2022

With the announcement, which was made at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford is committing $11 billion to bring a total 40 electrified vehicles in the market in four years time. The mix will include 24 hybrids and 16 electric vehicles.

Jim Farley, Ford's president of global markets, told NAIAS attendees that the new models will include a hybrid version of the auto giant's popular F-150 pickup truck.

The company will also introduce a performance battery-electric vehicle Mach 1, in 2020.

"We want to make a statement about the company that we're electrifying our iconic vehicles," Farley said.

The electric vehicle sector continues to be a tiny segment of the automotive world, accounting with less than 1 percent of the 90 million vehicles sold annually, according to a recent Reuters analysis.

But that's not stopping automakers from embracing electrics and hybrids and doing so with gusto.

“We’re all in,” Ford Motor Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr said following the company's announcement over the weekend.

So too, it appears, is General Motors Co., which has announced plans to roll out  20 new battery and fuel cell electric vehicles by 2023.

The trend isn't confined to the United States. While published reports heading into the auto show suggested that U.S. automakers had committed to investing at least $19 billion in electric vehicles, their counterparts in Germany were pouring $52 billion in sector, while Chinese automakers are investing about $21 billion.

And that number only got bigger as the weekend wore on. Daimler AG, headquartered in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, said that the auto show that it will spend at least $11.7 billion to introduce 10 electric and 40 hybrid models.

It also said it intends to electrify its full range of vehicles, from minicompact commuters to heavy-duty trucks.

"Soon," predicted Daimler AG Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche on Monday, "everybody and his brother” will be in the electric vehicle sector.

Also on Monday, BMW said it is also going in a big way into the electric market.

"We have a clear focus on electrification," said BMW president and CEO Bernhard Kuhnt.

"BMW achieved its goal to sell 100,000 electric vehicles worldwide," Kuhnt continued. "More than 20 percent were sold in the U.S."

But the biggest single investment comes from German multinational Volkswagon AG, which said it will spend $40 billion by 2030 to build electrified versions of its all 300-plus of its global models.

The word out of Detroit then, is that there's never been a bigger commitment to the future of electric vehicles.

“The only question now is, will the customers be there with us?” Bill Ford said.

Photo: North American Auto Show

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