American multinational automaker, Ford Motor Co, plans to increase its electric vehicle line-up with an $11 billion investment. The investment aims to put 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles on the road by 2022, said Chairman, Bill Ford on Sunday a the Detroit auto show.
According to Ford Motor Co executives, the new investment is considerably higher than a previous target of $4.5 billion by 2020. The money will cover the costs of developing electric vehicle designs. Ford Motor Co’s 2016 research and development expenses, were $7.3 billion.
Jim Hacket, Ford’s Chief Executive, said in October that the company would cut $14 billion in expenses over the next five years. The capital would be re-allocated from internal combustion engines and sedans to development of more trucks and electric and hybrid cars.
Ford Motor Co executives said that 16 of the 40 electrified cars will be fully electric while the rest will be plug-in hybrids.
“We’re all in on this and we’re taking our mainstream vehicles, our most iconic vehicles, and we’re electrifying them,” Ford announced.
The move comes in the wake of other automakers including Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG, and General Motors Co, who also plan on expanding their model line-up with electric vehicles.
Volkswagen announced last year in November their plans to invest $40 billion in electrified cars as well as self-driving technology which would be incorporated by 2022.
General Motors Co also plans to add 20 new fuel cell and battery electric vehicles to its global line-up by 2023. In addition, the automaker is currently seeking federal approval for their upcoming self-driving Chevrolet Cruise AV, poised to begin production in 2019.
Automakers are pushing for a bigger stake in the electric vehicle market, mainly due to pressure from lawmakers in China, Europe, and California who want to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels. More so, pressure comes from rival automaker, Tesla Inc, who is a pioneer in electrified vehicle manufacturing.
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