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 and smart range of applications of different types of electrified vehicle technologies. Our strategy includes the following elements.
Electrified vehicles are an important part of Ford’s overall sustainability strategy and our commitment to reducing 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, deliver leading fuel economy across our lineup and meet different customers’ transportation needs.
To do this, we are electrifying global vehicle lines rather than creating a single, special electrified vehicle model. This allows our customers to choose from a variety of electrified vehicle powertrains – including hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and full battery electric vehicles (BEVs) – in a range of vehicle segments, including sedans, utility vehicles and luxury vehicles.
Ford Fusion Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, and Ford C-MAX Hybrid
As of June 2013, we offered three HEVs: the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and the new C-MAX Hybrid (based on the successful C-MAX in Europe), all of which deliver leading fuel economy. These HEVs are ideal for customers who cover a range of distances in varied driving conditions. The most significant benefits come under urban stop-and-go driving conditions, in which braking energy is stored and reused. But these HEVs should also appeal to drivers who do a mix of city and highway driving; the Fusion and C-MAX Hybrids available in the U.S. both have a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated rating of 47 mpg in the city, on the highway, and combined.1 For more information about our hybrid vehicles and technology, please see the Hybrid Electric Vehicles section.
Ford Focus Electric
In the spring of 2012, we launched the Focus Electric, a BEV version of the new Ford Focus, to retail customers in North America. The Focus Electric has an EPA-estimated fuel- efficiency rating of 110 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city and 99 MPGe highway.2 By using innovative technologies, the Focus Electric can be fully charged in 4 hours. The Focus Electric has an EPA-certified driving range of 76 miles on a single charge and can go up to 100 miles on a charge depending on driving habits. (The average driver in the U.S. drives 29 miles a day, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.) For more information about our battery electric vehicles and technology, please see the Battery Electric Vehicles section.
Ford C-MAX Energi and Ford Fusion Energi
In North America, we also now sell two PHEVs: the C-MAX Energi, launched in 2012, and the Fusion Energi, a plug-in hybrid version of our all-new Fusion that launched in early 2013. The C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi both have an EPA-estimated rating of 108 city/92 hwy/100 combined MPGe.3 The C-MAX Energi has an EPA-estimated 620 mile range.4 For more information about our PHEVs and technology, please see the Plug -In Hybrid Electric Vehicles section.
All of our electrified vehicles use next-generation lithium-ion batteries, as discussed in the Battery Technologies section.
We plan to expand our electrified vehicle lineup to Europe in late 2013, beginning with the Focus Electric. We will also launch hybrid vehicles in Europe in coming years.
Sales of our electrified vehicles are increasing, and Ford recently became the second-leading seller of electrified vehicles. As of April 2013, we held an 18 percent market share in the U.S. electrified vehicle market, up from approximately 3 percent in 2012. HEVs make up a significant portion of our total electrified-vehicle sales. In the five months from December 2012 to April 2013, we sold more HEVs than in any full year since we began selling hybrids in 2004. The C-MAX and Fusion Hybrids are proving particularly effective at bringing new people to Ford-brand vehicles. As of April 2013, 64 percent of C-MAX Hybrid customers and 68 percent of Fusion Hybrid customers were new to the brand.
To meet the ever-growing demand for electrified vehicles, we are tripling our electrified vehicle production capacity by the end of 2013. This increase is based on our expectation that gas prices will rise over time and continue to drive increased demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles, including HEVs, PHEVs and BEVs. We expect HEVs to make up about 70 percent of our share of electrified vehicle sales. In 2012, HEVs made up approximately 1.6 percent of Ford’s total U.S. sales.
We are basing our electrified vehicle products on our highest-volume global platforms. This approach offers tremendous opportunities for production economies of scale. For example, the Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid are based on Ford’s next-generation compact, or “C-car” platform, and are being built alongside gas-powered Focus models at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant. This plant is the first in the world to build vehicles with five different fuel-efficient powertrain technologies on the same line.
Globally, we expect to build as many as 2 million vehicles per year on the C-car platform. The new Fusion Hybrid and the Fusion Energi PHEV are based on our global mid-sized platform. This flexibility 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.
Electrified vehicles have many advantages for consumers. But they also require drivers to make changes to their driving routines and may cause some new considerations to arise in regard to how a driver uses a car. For example, BEV drivers have to plan for their car to have enough charge to get to the next destination. BEV and PHEV drivers have to consider where they will charge their vehicles. Even HEV drivers can make changes to their driving routines to maximize the efficiency of their vehicles. To help drivers make the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and get the most out of their EVs, we are offering more than just the vehicle. We are delivering a total electrified-vehicle lifestyle.
In the U.S., for example, our electrified vehicles have advanced in-vehicle communications and innovative applications for wireless devices that help drivers maximize the efficiency and range of their vehicles. Our tools for BEVs and PHEVs also help drivers to find charging stations along their planned routes, and to know how far they can go until the next charge based on their own driving style. For example, our innovative MyFord Mobile® app, developed using MapQuest® and Xatori technology, allows owners to control charging and other in-vehicle operations remotely. The app can “wake up” to pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin while the car is plugged in, to help reduce battery usage for these energy-intensive functions. Owners can use MapQuest to find their way to a new destination and Xatori’s PlugShare to find public recharging stations. We have also developed a comprehensive approach to vehicle charging that makes it fast, easy, affordable and environmentally responsible. Our goal is to deliver electric vehicles that are as engaging, easy to use and empowering as other forms of consumer electronics like smartphones.
Ford is taking a proactive approach to making PHEVs and BEVs successful in the marketplace. We are working with utilities, municipalities, dealers and customers to make the transition to these EVs as smooth as possible.
For instance, we have developed extensive training materials to educate dealers’ sales personnel on the unique features and functionality of electric vehicles so that they are able to assist customers with their purchase decisions. As part of these preparations, dealers who sell BEVs and PHEVs are required to install two EV charge stations at their facilities – one in the service area and another in the customer-facing area. These dealers are also participating in a “green dealer onsite facility assessment” to identify energy- and cost-saving opportunities, with a goal to improve energy efficiency, lower operating expenses and reduce the dealership’s carbon footprint. As of March 2013, we have certified more than 600 dealers in 48 states to sell our electrified vehicles and have more than 200 additional dealers signed up to undergo the certification process during the remainder of 2013. This is more than triple our original estimate for certified EV dealers – another sign of growing interest in these vehicles. For more information, please see the Dealers section.
We have also developed websites, videos and brochures to help consumers understand our electrified vehicle offerings and incorporate BEVs and PHEVs into their lifestyle. For example, our electrified-vehicle website helps consumers understand the key features of and differences between electrified vehicle options, and our www.plugintoford.com site helps customers understand how to get the most from their electric vehicle. We have also developed videos on vehicle features such as MyFord Mobile, how to charge the vehicle or set the charge time, and how to have a charging station installed.
In addition, we targeted our initial BEV offerings in markets that were able to take advantage of the full range of BEVs’ benefits right away. We initially introduced the Focus Electric in the largest electrified vehicle markets – New York, New Jersey and California – which have some of the most established, fastest-growing charging station infrastructures and government support. We followed this initial vehicle launch with a rollout in the fall of 2012 to 15 additional U.S. metropolitan areas, which 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 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 “Go Further” tour in 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 BEVs and PHEVs 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. In 2012, we also held more than 25 consumer education events in key BEV and PHEV markets around the country; some were standalone Ford events and some were larger sustainable-lifestyle events in which we participated. These consumer education events included educational exhibits about Ford’s electrified-vehicle offerings, the benefits of BEVs and PHEVs, and recharging options, as well as live demonstrations of the MyFord Mobile technology and the opportunity to test drive Ford vehicles. We are continuing our consumer-education efforts in 2013 with at least 27 additional events and a goal of providing at least 10,000 test-drive experiences.
The development and diffusion of electrified vehicle technologies is a global challenge. Major advances have already been made on the electrical technology at the core of next-generation electrified vehicles, and there’s more to come. We are working with a coalition of other automotive manufacturers and other stakeholders 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. We are partnering with companies that are already the best in their fields, instead of attempting to recreate products, services and technologies internally, to offer customers the best-possible suite of electrified vehicle-related products, services and technologies.
In January 2013, Ford launched the MyEnergi Lifestyle project, a collaboration with representatives of the consumer-appliance, renewable-energy and power-management industries to demonstrate how plug-in vehicle technology can be applied across household appliances and renewable energy generation for an energy- and money-saving lifestyle. Current partners include Whirpool, Easton, SunPower and Georgia Institute of Technology. For more information on this partnership, see Collaborating with Partners
Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant is the first in the world to build vehicles with five different fuel-efficient powertrain technologies on the same production line.