Ford puts Mustang, F-150 hybrids and electric SUV on the horizon
One is a prominent member of the best-selling vehicle line in America, and one is the country's most iconic muscle car. Soon they'll both be available as hybrids, as Ford plans to barrage the market with new electrified vehicles over the next five years. The Mustang and F-150 hybrids will be joined by a plug-in Transit van and all-electric SUV with 300-mile (483 km) range.
Ford believes that global availability of vehicles with battery-powered motors will surpass gas-only vehicles within the next 15 years, and it doesn't plan to get left behind at the pumps. It will launch 13 new hybrids and all-electric vehicles within the next five years and announced more than half of them this week. These won't be niche vehicles, either, as Ford's focus will be on electrifying popular, high-volume cars and trucks.
"Ford's global EV strategy is to build on our strengths," says Raj Nair, Ford's executive vice president of product development and chief technical officer. "While some others seem to be focused on marketing claims and numbers, we're focused on providing customers even more of what they love about their Ford vehicles. This means more capability for trucks, more productivity for commercial vehicles and more performance for sports cars – plus improved fuel economy."
Ford promises that the Mustang Hybrid will offer V8 levels of power combined with more low-end torque. The car will be built at Ford's Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan and debut in North America in 2020.
Today, Ford announced 2016 sales numbers, hailing the F-Series as America's best-selling vehicle for 35 years, best-selling truck for 40. It'll be celebrating the truck's success all year at 40YearsTough.com.
A hybrid version of such a sales leader is no small news, particularly when that sales leader happens to be a pickup truck, not the form you'd commonly expect a "hybrid" to take (though there are others). Coming in 2020, the F-150 Hybrid will improve the efficiency of Ford's pickup truck fleet while also working as a mobile generator, a capability that is sure to prove useful on many a job site. Ford promises powerful towing and payload capacity and will build the hybrid pickup at its Dearborn Truck Plant and sell it in North America and the Middle East.
Also on schedule for 2020 release, Ford's global all-electric small SUV will be sold in North America, Europe and Asia. Ford promises the popular ~300 miles (~500 km) of battery range, as we've seen on electric SUV previews like the Audi e-tron quattro, Mercedes Generation EQ and Jaguar I-Pace. The new Ford SUV will roll out of the Flat Rock plant.
Rounding out the seven electric/hybrid vehicles announced this week, Ford will launch a high-volume autonomous hybrid for North American commercial ride hailing and sharing in 2021, a Transit Custom plug-in hybrid in Europe in 2019, and two pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles. Ford also plans to launch EcoBoost-engined hybrids within its global utility lineup, further improving fuel economy over naturally aspirated hybrids.
In order to support this EV and hybrid offensive, Ford will invest $700 million in a new Manufacturing Innovation Center at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant and add 700 new US jobs. That plant improvement will serve in place of the now-cancelled plant Ford had planned for San Luis Potosi, Mexico.