Ford Promising 13 New EVs by 2020
Since the days of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, Ford Motor Company has been experimenting with electric car technology. Even before the oil shocks of the 1970's Ford introduced an electric microcar called the Comuta, pictured below. It was powered by four 12V lead batteries, giving it a range of just 37 miles and a top speed of 25 mph, effectively making it what today would be classified as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle or NEV.
Despite slowed EV sales this year in the wake of under-$2 a gallon gasoline in the United States, Ford's Mark Fields announced that it plans to invest $4.5 billion to develop some 13 'electrified' models by 2020. Some $2.1 million will go to the University of MIchigan's battery lab for research. The first current EV to benefit will be the Fusion EV, upgrading its range from an official 87 miles per charge to 100 with its release slated for a year from now.
While Ford officials are being closemouthed as to which vehicles the Dearborn company plans to electrify, most commentators believe they will include electric (plug-in) hybrids as well as all-electric models, and likely more conventional hybrids, as well. The company recently posted a tease image of vehicle they plan to reveal on New Years. It has a cord and J1772 plug attached to it, clearly indicating it is an EV, but which type isn't obvious under the covering drape.
Among the other improvements coming is also fast charging for the Fusion, allowing it to be charged to 80% SOC in 30 minutes using DC fast charging. The company also plans to introduce the C-Mas Energi plug-in hybrid in China, as well as the Mondero Hybrid. Fields added that by 2020, 40% of Ford's vehicle portfolio will offer electric-drive powertrains, up from 13% today.
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