Ford Motor Company announced today that it is committing itself fully to the development of electric vehicles, including a hybridized Mustang and F-150 pickup, a small electric crossover, and a fully-autonomous hybrid unit. Company CEO Mark Fields expressed his faith in the future of electric cars and Ford’s intention of bringing 13 new electrified models to the global market within the next five years.
“The era of the electric vehicle is dawning and we at Ford plan to be a leader in this exciting future,” Fields said. “Leading in electrification, in autonomy, and also connectivity are critical as we expand to be both an auto and a mobility company.”Â
While Ford hasn’t yet had the time to outline the details of each new vehicle, Fields did refer to the hybrid Mustang as having “V8 power,” and said the electrified F-150 could serve as aÂ mobile generator for remote work sites. In fact, most of his electrification talk revolved less around fuel-savingsÂ and more around performance benefits â€” the instant torque available via an electric motor, for example.
Both the Mustang and F-Series hybrids are slated for 2020, with the other vehicles arriving between 2019Â and 2021. The first is aÂ Transit Custom plug-in available in 2019, followed by two new pursuit-rated police vehicles. Both of the hybrid squad cars will be outfitted in Chicago and one will be built there as well, most likely indicating there is an electrified Taurus on the horizon.
In addition to the new Mustang, Michigan’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant will also be assemblingÂ a BEV crossoverÂ â€” with a 300 mile range â€” and an autonomous hybridÂ designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing.Â The self-driving hybrid, scheduled for 2021, is anticipated to forego all traditional controls, lacking a steering wheel, pedals, and any input from the driver.
While all of theÂ new vehicles are part of Ford’s $4.5 billion investment into electrification, Flat RockÂ is receiving an $700 million to overhaul the factory and add a new manufacturing and innovation center.
There is also money being allocatedÂ to develop wireless charging technology for electric vehicles and software to schedule time at approved recharging stations. New York and several other major cities will see Ford test a fleet of twenty Transit Connect electric prototypes and hybrid taxis.
â€œAs more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make peopleâ€™s lives better,â€� said Fields. â€œOur investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.â€�[Image: Ford Motor Company]