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PHOTO CAPTION: Ford CEO Mark Fields with Ford Fusion Hybrid

E-Drive Vehicles Could Be 25% of Ford Sales By 2020

Gary Witzenburg sits down with Ford's CEO, Mark Fields during the 2012 Detroit car show to talk about the future of hybrid and electric-drive vehicles.

Published: 19-Mar-2013

I was fortunate to get one-on-one chats with two top GM technology leaders (John Lauckner and Larry Nitz) at this year's Detroit North American International Auto Show, but no other automaker offered that opportunity. However, while I was resting and enjoying lunch in Ford's media lounge, in walked Ford's newly-promoted chief operating officer (and likely successor to CEO Alan Mulally) Mark Fields.

Fields told us a year ago that Ford's powertrain strategy is to continue downsizing engines and using EcoBoost (turbocharging and direct fuel injection), and added that vehicle electrification will play a major role in meeting federal corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) requirements that mandate mpg boosts of more than four percent per year through 2025. "By the end of this decade," he said, "we'll see from 10 to 25 percent of our sales being electrified – conventional hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery electrics."

But how will Ford keep costs down to get their sales volumes up? "Our approach is electrifying platforms, as opposed to single vehicles," he said, "which has a lot of engineering efficiencies. And our manufacturing strategy will allow us to flex. For example, our Wayne [MI] Plant will produce the regular gas-powered Focus, the electric Focus and the C-Max hybrid."

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