Economy, Auto
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Ford to Step Up EV Investment to $11 Billion

Bill Ford (L) and Jim Hackett at the Detroit auto show, Jan. 14Bill Ford (L) and Jim Hackett at the Detroit auto show, Jan. 14

Ford Motor Co will significantly increase its planned investments in electric vehicles to $11 billion by 2022 and have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model lineup, Chairman Bill Ford said on Sunday at the North American International Auto Show better known as the Detroit Auto Show (Jan. 13-28).

The investment figure is sharply higher than a previously announced target of $4.5 billion by 2020, Ford executive said, and includes the costs of developing dedicated electric vehicle architectures. Ford’s engineering, research and development expenses for 2016, the last full year available, were $7.3 billion, up from $6.7 billion in 2015, Reuters reported.

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

Other major carmakers including General Motors Co, Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen AG have already outlined aggressive plans to expand their electric vehicle offerings.

Ford’s shift to the electric vehicle strategy has been more than six months in the making after Hackett replaced former Chief Executive Mark Fields in May.

The plan was finalized in recent months after an extensive review, a person familiar with the process said. In October, Ford disclosed it had formed a team named “Team Edison” to accelerate global development of electric vehicles.

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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