US auto giant Ford will invest $11bn into hybrid and electric vehicles over the coming years, delivering a range of 40 electrified vehicles by 2022.
The figure marks a significant jump from the $4.5bn Ford previously committed to EV development back in late 2015. Announcing the news at the Detroit Motor Show, company chairman Bill Ford said the increased figure is indicative of how Ford sees the automotive industry evolving.
“This $11bn you’re seeing, that means we’re all in now,” Ford told reporters in Detroit. “The only question is will the customers be there with us, and we think they will.”
Of the 40 electrified models planned, 16 will be pure electric, with hybrids making up the remainder. Just a single vehicle – a fully electric SUV known as the Mach 1 – has so far been revealed by name. It is expected to be available in 2020.
Ford’s move comes on the back of announcements in 2017 by several automotive OEMs to expand their electric offerings. In November, Volkswagen said it would invest €23bn in a ‘technology offensive’ that would focus on modular production and e-mobility. General Motors and Toyota have outlined similar plans to shift their focus to EVs and plug-in hybrids, while closer to home, Jaguar Land Rover declared last year that all new vehicles it produces from 2020 will be electrified.
In July 2017, Volvo said it would cease developing and making new models powered solely by internal combustion engines by 2019. Meanwhile, Tesla’s range of pure electric vehicles continues to grow, with Elon Musk’s company unveiling its electric Semi truck and an updated Roadster in November last year. 2017 saw Tesla pass Ford in market value, despite delivering just a fraction of the number of vehicles produced by the Detroit carmaker. The development was followed by Ford replacing then CEO Mark Fields with current chief executive Jim Hackett, who has promised to cut costs while bringing a new focus to electrification.