Ford just held a press conference at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan. President and CEO Mark Fields announced details on a huge electrification push, including hybrid versions of existing models, new EVs, and an autonomous hybrid.
Ford will build 13 new electrified vehicles (EV, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid) in the next five years. Fields gave some brief details on seven of them this morning. They include:
- Mustang Hybrid – It will have power similar to a V8 and more torque (plus, we assume, more weight). Debuting in 2020, initially available in North America. It will be built alongside the standard Mustang at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant.
- F-150 Hybrid – To be built at the Dearborn truck plant. It can double as a mobile generator for job sites, much like the now-dead GM hybrid pickups. Ford’s hybrid truck will be available by 2020 and be sold in North America and the Middle East. A rear-drive hybrid truck was previously confirmed by Fields. Our guess is that the hybrid Mustang and F-150 will share a powertrain and likely use an automatic transmission with an electric motor packaged inside. You can read more about what we expect from these two hybrids.
- Small Electric Crossover/SUV – This little ute will have a range of 300 miles. Built in Flat Rock.
- Autonomous Hybrid – Ford’s Level 4 autonomous car promised for 2021 will be built in Flat Rock also and use a hybrid powertrain.
- Police Interceptor Hybrids – Both will be pursuit-rated, and one will be built in Chicago. We expect this means Taurus and Explorer Police Interceptors with hybrid powertrains, but it could also mean a version of the F-150 hybrid for police use. No timeframe mentioned.
- Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid for Europe – Promised for 2019. It’s designed to reduce operating costs in crowded cities.
- 20 Transit Connect Hybrid taxis testing in the US – The small test fleet will be deployed in New York and other major US cities.
The company is also working on wireless charging so that the EVs and plug-ins don’t actually have to be plugged in. When the car is parked over a charging mat, power will be transferred automatically without having to mess with any cables.
Fields also announced that Ford will invest $700 million to expand the Flat Rock Assembly Plant, which will create 700 jobs; this is part of a $4.5 billion investment in electrified Ford vehicles by 2020. The company is canceling its $1.6 billion plant in Mexico, likely a result of discussions Ford executives have had with president-elect Donald Trump surrounding American manufacturing and import taxes.