Ford’s Electrification Strategy
Ford’s electrification strategy foresees a future that includes different types of electrified vehicles, depending on customers’ needs. There will not be a one-size-fits-all approach, but a diverse, smart application of different types of electrified vehicle technologies. Our strategy includes the following.
Power of Choice: Bringing a Range of Electric Vehicles to Market
Electrified vehicles are an important part of Ford’s overall sustainability strategy and our commitment to reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of our fleet. We are pursuing an aggressive electrified vehicle strategy that we call Power of Choice. We believe that offering a range of electrified vehicles is the best way to reduce CO2 emissions and meet different customers’ transportation needs. Therefore, we are electrifying global vehicle lines rather than creating a special electrified vehicle model. That way, our customers can choose from a variety of electrified vehicle powertrains, including Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) and full Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). We are also delivering electrified vehicles in a range of different vehicle segments, including commercial vehicles, sedans, sport utility and crossover vehicles and luxury vehicles. We expect that 10 to 25 percent of Ford’s global sales will be composed of electrified vehicles by 2020. That includes sales of HEVs, PHEVs and pure BEVs, with the majority of those sales coming from HEVs.
Ford already offers three HEVs: the Ford Escape Hybrid, the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. These HEVs are ideal for customers who cover a range of distances in varied driving conditions. The most significant benefits of these vehicles come under urban stop-and-go driving. We have also announced plans to introduce an HEV version of the Ford C-MAX, a multi-activity vehicle, in North America in 2012.
In 2010 and 2011, we introduced two BEVs in North America: a BEV version of the Ford Transit Connect utility van and the Ford Focus Electric. The Transit Connect Electric is targeted at the commercial market. We developed this vehicle in partnership with Azure Dynamics Vehicles, a leading electric adapter of commercial vehicles. The Focus Electric, a BEV version of the all-new Ford Focus (which became available in North America in 2011), was developed with our strategic supplier Magna International. These BEVs will be ideal for customers who have short, predictable daily trips of less than 80 miles total.
In 2012 in North America, we will introduce our first commercially available PHEV, the C-MAX Energi.
All of these vehicles will use next-generation lithium-ion batteries. We already have a test fleet of Ford Escape PHEVs on the road in partnership with a number of utility companies, which are providing useful data for the development and implementation of commercial PHEVs.
We will also expand our electrified vehicle lineup to Europe. We will launch the Transit Connect Electric in Europe in 2011, followed by the Ford Focus Electric in 2012. The C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi, along with another still-to-be-announced HEV, will also be introduced in Europe by 2013.
Using Global Platforms
We are basing our electrified vehicle products on our highest-volume global platforms, which offers tremendous opportunities for production economies of scale. For example, the Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid will all be based on Ford’s next-generation “C-car” platform. Globally, we expect to build as many as 2 million vehicles per year on this platform, including the Focus, Focus Electric, C-MAX, C-MAX Hybrid, C-MAX Energi and other vehicle models. We will be producing the vehicles on flexible manufacturing lines capable of producing a BEV, HEV, PHEV or efficient gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicle, which allows us to switch production between different vehicles as needed to meet changing consumer demand. We also share many of the electrified components between the different vehicles. These strategies are key to making electrified vehicles affordable.
Delivering a Total Electric Vehicle Lifestyle
Electric vehicles have many advantages for consumers, like possibly never having to visit a gas station again. But they also require drivers to make changes to their driving routines and may cause some new anxieties, like wondering if the car has enough charge to get to the next destination. To help drivers make the transition to electric vehicles, and get the most out of their EVs, we are offering more than just the vehicle. We are delivering a total electric vehicle lifestyle.
In the U.S., for example, our EVs have advanced in-vehicle communications that help drivers maximize the efficiency and range of their vehicles, find charging stations along their planned routes, and know exactly how far they can go until the next charge based on their own driving style. We have also linked our vehicles to drivers’ smartphones so that they can control charging and other in-vehicle operations remotely. We have also developed a comprehensive approach to vehicle charging that makes charging fast, easy, affordable and environmentally friendly. Our goal is to deliver electric vehicles that are as engaging, easy to use and empowering as other forms of consumer electronics like smartphones.
Bringing EVs to Market Thoughtfully
Ford is taking a proactive approach to making EVs successful in the marketplace. We are working with utilities, municipalities, dealers and customers to make the transition to EVs as smooth as possible. We are also targeting our initial EV offerings in markets that we believe will be able to take advantage of the full range of EVs’ benefits right away. We are initially introducing the Focus Electric, for example, in 19 U.S. cities: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland (Oregon), Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tucson and Washington, D.C. These markets were chosen based on several criteria, including commuting patterns, existing hybrid purchase trends, utility company collaboration and local government commitment to electrification.
As part of our collaboration with dealers, utilities and local governments, Ford is helping to develop consumer outreach and education programs on electric vehicles as well as share information on charging needs and requirements to ensure that the electrical grid can support customers’ needs. For example, we launched a “Charging into the Future Tour” to 14 cities around the country as part of this effort. This tour promotes Ford’s electric vehicle strategy, solidifies our collaborations with local utilities and municipalities to make EVs a success, and educates consumers about what to expect from electrified automobiles and what is needed from the public and private sector to support this new technology.
Collaborating with Partners
Gearing up for the development and diffusion of electrified vehicle technologies will be a global challenge. Major advances have already been made on the electrical technology at the core of the next-generation electrified vehicles, and there’s more to come. In Ford’s vision, a coalition of automotive manufacturers and other stakeholders will work together to develop technologies, standards and cost efficiencies to commercialize electrified vehicles. It will take a collaborative approach of automakers, battery producers, suppliers, fuel producers, utilities, municipalities, educators and researchers, as well as policy makers and opinion shapers, to help us make the transition and realize the full benefits of electrification.
Traditional automotive suppliers, transforming themselves for electrification, are being joined by new suppliers adapting electronics to the automotive environment. Significant possibilities exist for innovation in battery technology, power electronics and the development of motors, generators, high-voltage systems and other components, as well as the information technology necessary to maximize the potential of electric vehicles.
Ford’s plan calls for strategic partnering with key suppliers who bring technical expertise, financial solidity and collaborative spirit. We believe that working with a range of partners will allow us to gain greater understanding of the connectivity of vehicles to the electric grid, promote the necessary infrastructure and bring down the costs of the technology to make it more accessible for consumers.
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