Ford Motor Company is placing a big bet on an electrified vehicle portfolio, promising to roll out 13 new hybrids and EVs over the next five years including hybrid versions of the Mustang, F-150 and Transit Connect. Ford is also committed to building a pure electric crossover with a range of 300 miles and two police packages based on EVs.

As part of this program, the company is investing $700 million into its Flat Rock, Michigan, plant which currently builds the Mustang and Lincoln Continental. That facility will become the home for not only hybrid and EV production, but also autonomous vehicles that Ford says will be sold to ride sharing and hailing services in 2021. Much of this investment is coming from the cancellation of a new $1.6 billion plant in Mexico that would have built the Ford Focus. Production of that compact car will be shifted instead to its existing Hermosillo, Mexico assembly plant where it will be built alongside the Ford Fusion.

“As 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 people’s live better,” said Ford CEO Mark Fields in making the announcement. “Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”

Technology upgrades

In addition to promising a new portfolio of hybrids and electrics, Ford will also invest in new technology to upgrade the charging networks that would not only increase recharging speeds, but also develop wireless or inductive charging that eliminates the need to actually plug the vehicle directly into an outlet.

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Ford has begun testing EV prototypes in Europe and New York as well as other large U.S. cities and anticipates having its new fully electric small SUV in the market as soon as 2020. Also rolled out in that timeframe will be the hybrid versions of the F-150 pickup and V8 Mustang. The Transit Connect plug-in hybrid is expected a year earlier. The specific launch date of the two hybrid police packages, one built in Chicago and the other upfitted at that plant, has not been announced. 


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