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Ford almost trebles planned investment in electric vehicles

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US car manufacturer has revised its initial plans on development of electric vehicles, and now plans to spend $11bn on the cleaner transportation by 2022.

The figure is almost treble what the car giant initially planned, a target of $4.5bn.

The company now plans to develop 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model lineup, Chairman Bill Ford said last week.

Ford electric vehicle
The new figure includes the costs of developing dedicated electric vehicle architectures. Ford’s engineering, research and development expenses for 2016, the last full year available, were $7.3bn, up from $6.7bn in 2015.

Ford Chief Executive Jim Hackett told investors in October the automaker would slash $14 billion in costs over the next five years and shift capital investment away from sedans and internal combustion engines to develop more trucks and electric and hybrid cars.

Of the 40 electrified vehicles Ford plans for its global lineup by 2022, 16 will be fully electric and the rest will be plug-in hybrids, executives said.

“We’re all in on this and we’re taking our mainstream vehicles, our most iconic vehicles, and we’re electrifying them,” Ford told reporters. “If we want to be successful with electrification, we have to do it with vehicles that are already popular.”

Mainstream auto makers are reacting in part to pressure from regulators in China, Europe and California to slash carbon emissions from fossil fuels, as well as the success of Tesla.

Some of the electric vehicles will be produced with Ford’s JV in China aimed at the Chinese market. One aim of Ford’s “Team Edison” is to identify and develop electric-vehicle partnerships with other companies, including suppliers, in some markets, according to Sherif Marakby, vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification

China, India, France and the United Kingdom all have announced plans to phase out vehicles powered by combustion engines and fossil fuels between 2030 and 2040. 

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