Like other car manufacturers, Ford is investing heavily in electric autos. Ford has said that it will invest $4.5 billion in electric vehicles.
This money will fund the addition of 13 electric and hybrid vehicles to their line up by 2020. That would increase the representation of green cars in their product assortment to 40%, up from its current 13%. One Ford electric vehicle planned already is the Focus Electric, with fast-charging capabilities.
This investment comes despite a product struggling to attract buyers, as American fuel prices have been staying low. However, as stringent 2025 emission standards loom on the horizon, more and more carmakers are investing in electric vehicles in an effort to help reach those standards.
Current Ford electric vehicles, such as the C-Max and Fusion, as well as the Lincoln MKZ hybrid, saw deliveries drop 25%. Slides were also seen in the Toyota Prius, GM Volt, and Nissan Leaf.
One of the biggest steps to combat this will be informing and educating the customer about the advantages of all green vehicles, including battery-electric and plug-in hybrids.
There are consumer concerns, for example, about the benefits of electric vehicles. Some may be concerned about the range of a plug-in hybrid, for instance, but since the vehicle is fueled by both battery power and gasoline engines, there’s nothing to worry about.
The plans for Ford electric vehicles will be the company’s largest ever for a five-year period. The manufacturer expects the same return on investment on these models as traditional gasoline-fueled vehicles. However, there are many variables to account for, including regulations and industry climate.
In moves that are likely to bolster the increased investment, Ford has also expanded its Electrified Powertrain Engineering program, hiring an additional 120 engineers. The company will also be working with the University of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to develop smaller, lighter and cheaper batteries. The collaboration lab is valued at $9 million.