13 models getting electrified powertrains, including upcoming new crossover

Ford today held a press conference at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan to announce a sizeable $4.5 billion investment into U.S. manufacturing, the cancelation of its planned assembly plant in Mexico, and the push toward hybrid, electric, and autonomous vehicles. The F-150 leads the truck charge, with Ford saying the half-ton pickup will have an hybrid powertrain by 2020.

Ford further divulged the F-150 will continue being build at the Dearborn truck plant and that its hybrid powertrain will allow it to act as a mobile generator for job sites, while its payload and towing capacity will not be dramatically affected. Ford did not, however, spell out what type of hybrid system it will use. Rumors suggest the system will include an EcoBoost engine with an electric motor positioned between it and the transmission.

In addition to the F-150 Hybrid, Ford announced a fully electric crossover with a promised range of 300 miles. The unnamed vehicle will be built in Flat Rock for the 2020 model year and sell in North America, Europe, and Asia. The range exceeds that of the Tesla Model X’s current 289-mile maximum.

Ford’s new electric push includes a $700-million investment into the Flat Rock Assembly Plant and is expected to add 700 U.S. jobs. The investment is coming from the cancelled $1.8 billion assembly plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Most will recognize the proposed assembly plant as the target of president-elect Donald Trump’s condemnation.

While it’s unclear whether Ford’s move was directly in response to Trump, Ford’s announcement did plainly state 3,500 jobs at the Michigan Assembly plant would be safeguarded and two new “iconic products” would soon take the place of the Ford Focus. The Focus will be relocated to an existing assembly plant in Mexico.

Of course, those “iconic products” are all but officially confirmed as the Ranger pickup and Bronco SUV. Hopefully the 2017 North American International Auto Show on January 9 and 10 will bring that official word.

Continue reading for more information.

Why It Matters

A hybrid F-150, huh? The idea isn’t too far-fetched. You might recall General Motors produced a hybrid version of the Silverado, Tahoe, and Escalade in the mid-2000s. The body-on-frame trucks uses a conventional V-8 powertrain, but had an electric battery pack that powered an electric motor mounted within the transmission. The extra juice would help reduce the fuel needed to move the vehicle around town.

No one knows how Ford will incorporate a hybrid powertrain within the F-150, but we can bet it will have an impressive EPA fuel economy rating. We expect the hybrid F-150 to have a best-in-class “City” rating, though the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will likely continue boasting the best-in-class “Highway” fuel economy of 29 mpg – that is unless Ford debuts it’s hotly rumored light-duty Power Stroke turbodiesel. You can rest assured Ford engineers have targeted the Ram 1500 and will do everything besides cheating EPA tests (**cough Volkswagen cough**) to hit the all-important 30 mpg highway.

As for the F-150 itself, we expect the 2020 to bring a new generation to market – or at least an extensive facelift. Ford is expected to debut a refreshed F-150 at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. That truck will span the gap between the 2018 model year and the 2020 model year.

Stick around to TopSpeed for more. We’ll bring you more news as we have it.

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford F-150 here.

Press Release

Ford today detailed seven of the 13 new global electrified vehicles it plans to introduce in the next five years, including hybrid versions of the iconic F-150 pickup and Mustang in the U.S., a plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van in Europe and a fully electric SUV with an expected range of at least 300 miles for customers globally.

The automaker also announced plans to invest $700 million to expand its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan into a factory that will build high-tech autonomous and electric vehicles along with the Mustang and Lincoln Continental. The expansion will create 700 direct new jobs.

The moves are part of a $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020, offering customers greater fuel efficiency, capability and power across Ford’s global vehicle lineup. The plans are part of the company’s expansion to be an auto and a mobility company, including leading in electrified and autonomous vehicles and providing new mobility solutions.

“As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people’s lives better,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”

Ford is focusing its EV plan on its areas of strength – electrifying its most popular, high-volume commercial vehicles, trucks, SUVs and performance vehicles to make them even more capable, productive and fun to drive.

The seven global electrified vehicles announced today include:

An all-new fully electric small SUV, coming by 2020, engineered to deliver an estimated range of at least 300 miles, to be built at the Flat Rock plant and sold in North America, Europe and Asia
A high-volume autonomous vehicle designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing, starting in North America. The hybrid vehicle will debut in 2021 and will be built at the Flat Rock plant
A hybrid version of the best-selling F-150 pickup available by 2020 and sold in North America and the Middle East. The F-150 Hybrid, built at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant, will offer powerful towing and payload capacity and operate as a mobile generator
A hybrid version of the iconic Mustang that will deliver V8 power and even more low-end torque. The Mustang Hybrid, built at the Flat Rock Plant, debuts in 2020 and will be available in the North America to start
A Transit Custom plug-in hybrid available in 2019 in Europe engineered to help reduce operating costs in even the most congested streets
Two new, pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles. One of the two new hybrid police vehicles will be built in Chicago, and both will be upfitted with their police gear at Ford’s dedicated police vehicle modification center in Chicago

In addition, Ford announces that its global utility lineup will be the company’s first hybrids powered by EcoBoost® rather than naturally aspirated engines, furthering improving performance and fuel economy.

The company also plans to be as aggressive in developing global electrified vehicles services and solutions. These include EV fleet management, route planning and telematics solutions.

Building the Future

To support the new era of vehicles, Ford is adding 700 direct new U.S. jobs and investing $700 million during the next four years, creating the new Manufacturing Innovation Center at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant. Employees there will build the all-new small utility vehicle with extended battery range as well as the fully autonomous vehicle for ride-hailing or ride-sharing – along with the iconic Mustang and Lincoln Continental.

“I am thrilled that we have been able to secure additional UAW-Ford jobs for American workers,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, National Ford Department. “The men and women of Flat Rock Assembly have shown a great commitment to manufacturing quality products, and we look forward to their continued success with a new generation of high-tech vehicles.”

This incremental investment in Flat Rock Assembly Plant comes from $1.6 billion the company previously had planned to invest in a new plant in Mexico.

Ford today announced it is cancelling plans for the new plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. It also announced that, to improve company profitability and ensure the financial as well as commercial success of this vehicle, the next-generation Focus will be built at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. This will make way for two new iconic products at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, where Focus is manufactured today – safeguarding approximately 3,500 U.S. jobs.

Unique ElectrificationTechnology

Building on two decades of experience, Ford is applying lessons learned to deliver patented technology, software and services to appeal to truck customers, SUV owners, performance enthusiasts, high-volume commercial fleets and everyone in between.

“Ford’s global EV strategy is to build on our strengths,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president, 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.”

This year, Ford begins testing its new generation of EV technology. In Europe, Ford will put the Transit Custom plug-in hybrid on the road later this year, along with a new set of mobility services, telematics and connectivity solutions.

In addition, in New York and several major U.S. cities, Ford is testing a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi and van prototypes in some of the world’s most demanding traffic conditions.

These Transit Connects build on the success of the world’s first hybrid taxi – the Ford Escape Hybrid – which also was the world’s first hybrid SUV and the first North American-built hybrid. Many Escape Hybrid taxis are still on the road, moving passengers for more than 350,000 miles each and still using their original batteries.

Today, Ford is America’s top-selling plug-in hybrid brand and second in overall U.S. electrified vehicle sales.

New Services

Applying approximately two decades of leadership in EVs and commercial vehicles, Ford also is working on a suite of services to make EVs even easier to live with.

“Innovative services can be as important to customers as the electrified vehicles themselves,” said Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president of Purchasing and Ford’s EV champion. “We are investing in solutions to help private customers as well as commercial fleet owners seamlessly incorporate these new vehicles and technologies into their lives.”

Ford already has a memorandum of understanding with several other automakers in Europe to create an ultra-fast charging network projected to be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today. An initial target of about 400 sites in Europe is planned. By 2020, consumers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points.

Ford also is piloting wireless technology on company EVs in the U.S. and Europe that make recharging as easy as pulling into a parking spot so drivers never forget to recharge. Wireless recharging extends electric-only range for short distance commuters, even during quick stops. FordPass® also can help consumers reserve charging times.

Understanding customers

Ford has been extensively studying how past and current EV owners use their vehicles. The company has sold more than 520,000 electrified vehicles in North America since 2005 and 560,000 globally.

In studying 33,000 Ford EV owners that have made 58 million unique trips, Ford has learned:

88 percent of customers’ habitual daily driving distance is 60 miles or less. For plug-in hybrids, the average refueling distance is 680 miles, making gas station trips rare
Customers want as much electric range as possible, but range anxiety drops over time as they become more comfortable and familiar with the technology
80 percent of Ford EV customers charge once a day; 60 percent during evenings
Ford EV customers collectively have plugged in their vehicles a total of 9.4 million nights

An overwhelming majority of Ford EV owners expect to replace their current EV with a new one, additional Ford research shows. Specifically:

92 percent of battery electric car customers say they will purchase another battery electric vehicle as their next purchase
87 percent of plug-in hybrid customers want another plug-in for their next vehicle

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: