posted 9 months ago

Ford To Invest £3 Billion In Electric Vehicles By 2020

Ford to invest a further £3 billion and launch 13 new, electric only, models by 2020.

13 New Models By 2020

Ford plans to invest a further £3 billion ($4.5 billion) in electric vehicles by 2020 to: “Make people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves”, the company said. Within this time frame, it expects to launch 13 models to ensure 40% of its nameplates incorporate such technology.

The investment: “Represents Ford’s largest ever electrified vehicle investment in a 5 year period”; and recognises that motorists seem more and more likely to purchase electric. Forthcoming electric only models include the 2016 Focus Electric that can be recharged from 0% - 80% in 30 minutes.

That is significantly quicker than the current equivalent. 

Ford confirmed that this small family class vehicle has a range of about 100 miles (according to USA standards). It also incorporates:

  • “SmartGauge with EcoGuide LCD Instrument Cluster, which offers a multitude of customisable displays that can help the driver see real-time electric vehicle power usage to help maximise vehicle efficiency.
  • Brake coach: helps the driver apply smooth braking to maximise the energy captured through the regenerative braking system, which is then returned to the vehicle’s battery.
  • Fun-to-drive character, with agile steering and handling engineered into the vehicle to give drivers a more connected feel to the road.”

Design Led By New Considerations

Despite the futuristic nature of such vehicles the manufacturer is not keen on technology for technology's sake. Executive Vice President, Product Development and Chief Technical Officer, Raj Nair, explained: “The challenge going forward isn’t who provides the most technology in a vehicle, but who best organises that technology in a way that most excites and delights people. By observing consumers, we can better understand which features and strengths users truly use and value and create even better experiences”. On this basis, Ford says it observes how consumers interact with cars to get: “Insights into the cognitive, social, cultural, technological and economic nuances that affect product design”.

Mr Nair added: “This new way of working brings together marketing, research, engineering and design in a new way to create meaningful user experiences rather than individually developing technologies and features that need to be integrated into a final product. We are using new insights from anthropologists, sociologists, economists, journalists and designers - along with traditional business techniques - to reimagine our product development process, create new experiences, and make life better for millions of people.” He concluded: “We at Ford are going further than just designing the product to move people from point A to point B.”