At the Detroit Auto Show in the USA last Sunday, US auto manufacturer Ford announced to the press that it was set to invest 11 billion dollars in electric vehicles by 2022.
US auto giant Ford has stated that it will be investing 11 billion dollars (9 billion euros) in hybrid and electric vehicles between now and 2022. President of Global Markets Jim Farley made the announcement on Sunday 14 January as part of a presentation at the Detroit Auto Show, according to Le Figaro.
The initial investment will be 4.5 billion dollars between now and 2020, and is further proof that the firm is looking to the future, with the global operating budget of its R&D department increasing from 6.7 to 7.3 billion dollars between 2015 and 2016.
A utility by 2020 and 40 electric-powered vehicles by 2022
Ford, currently the second-largest US automobile manufacturer, is hoping to have a range of 40 electric-powered vehicles – 16 with purely electric engines and 24 hybrid petrol-electric models – by 2022. This would include a fully electric utility vehicle, set to hit the market in 2020.
"We are beginning to fine-tune our electric vehicle projects around the world, and we are focusing on making electric versions of our iconic models which are vehicles in the higher price range," Farley explained. "What we took from the first cycle of electric vehicles is that people want nice products."
"We are all very committed to this project and we are approaching electric vehicles by working on the models that the general public already identifies with the most," added Bill Ford, great-grandson of founder Henry Ford. "If you want to have success in the electric vehicle market, it seems that you have to base your offer around cars that are already popular."
Significant global competition
All of the main automotive manufacturers around the world are currently ramping ambitious projects when it comes to electric vehicles, due in no small part to stricter new environmental laws and standards being introduced, particularly in Asia and Europe.
Among Ford’s rivals, fellow US manufacturer General Motors has confirmed its desire to be the leader in the electric car field with its announcement last October that it would be launching around 20 either 100% electric vehicles or ones fitted with hydrogen fuel cells by 2023, with two models available as early as 2019. Japanese constructor Toyota is set to launch revolutionary battery technology by 2020, while German giant Volkswagen is to set aside 40 billion dollars for electric vehicles, driverless technology and transport services between now and 2022. Then of course there are various new and innovative players in the market, including Tesla.
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