Brace yourself for a more electric future. We recently announced that Ford will invest US$4.5 billion (CAD$6.54 billion as of the date of publication) into expanding and innovating our fleet of electrified vehicles over the next four years. That investment comes in addition to the funding we have already committed to cleaner and more efficient technology.
We’ll be using this investment to drive new innovation in electrified vehicle technologies, like US$2.1 million (CAD$3.05 million as of the date of publication) to research better battery technologies at the University of Michigan.
What does this mean for consumers? A future with more electrified options in the Ford lineup, and even better in-vehicle technologies. We’ll be adding 13 new EVs to our portfolio by 2020—meaning 40 percent of all of our nameplates around the world will be offered in electrified versions. First out of the gate next year will be a new Focus Electric, which will come with lightning-fast, 480 Volt DC charging capability that can juice up 80 per cent of the car battery’s capacity in just 30 minutes, with a projected range of 160 kilometres. It will also feature technologies that will help drivers maximize vehicle efficiency.
Building Cars Around Drivers
As part of this investment, we’re reimagining the design and development process altogether, shifting to focus on the driver experience, and not just the vehicle itself. We’re exploring how consumers interact with vehicles, gaining insight into the cognitive, social, cultural, technological and economic nuances that impact product designs. This refocusing puts the owner’s experience while driving a vehicle at the center of how we think about building it.
“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,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president, Product Development. “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.”
“As both an auto and a mobility company, we at Ford are going further than just designing the product to move people from point A to point B,” Nair said. “We are considering the way customers interact with our vehicles as a unified experience, looking for ways to excite and delight customers and make their lives better.”
And now, getting into a Ford electrified vehicle has never been easier! With government incentives available in some provinces, the cost of buying or leasing a Ford electrified vehicle may be comparable or even less than its gas-powered counterpart. Learn more here.