Ford has announced plans to double their commitment to invest in electric vehicles to eleven billion dollars over the next five years, according to BBC News. The company’s chairman, Bill Ford, said Ford will have 40 electric or hybrid vehicles available by 2022, speaking at the Detroit Auto Show on Sunday.
According to Ford, this will include 16 fully electric models as well as 24 plug-in hybrids. The company will focus on electrifying existing models. Speaking to reporters, Ford said:
“We’re all in on this and we’re taking our mainstream vehicles, our most iconic vehicles, and we’re electrifying them. If we want to be successful with electrification, we have to do it with vehicles that are already popular.”
Worldwide, in an effort to meet emissions reduction targets outlined in the Paris agreement, many governments have put pressure on automakers to offer cleaner options. Transportation emissions accounted for 27 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in 2015.
Ford now joins companies such as Toyota, Volkswagen, and General Motors in committing to push toward more electric vehicle offerings.
IHS Markit senior automotive analyst Stephanie Brinley said of the trend toward electric vehicles:
“Part of it is about tougher regulation but also the expectation that electric vehicles will support autonomous driving. The big question is how quickly consumers will adapt, as electric is only 1% of the market right now. Changing that will take better infrastructure on our roads, but also having more electric vehicles available.”
General Motors, which is the largest automaker in the US, announced plans last year to offer 20 new battery and fuel-cell powered vehicles by 2023. Volkswagen also announced planes late last year to invest 40 billion dollars in electric vehicles, autonomous driving, and other mobility services, by 2022, which doubled an earlier figure from the company. Now Ford has doubled their own previous commitment, to $4.5 billion by 2020, in a move led by their new chief executive, Jim Hackett.
Ford hinted at a new performance electric car, called the Mach 1, but did not issue details over its appearance or specifications. It will be released in 2020, and is inspired by the Mach 1 sports car from the 60s and 70s. It will boast a 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine, 10-speed auto transmission, and auto emergency braking.