Ford Motor Co. has announced their plan to increase its planned investments in electric motor vehicles to a staggering $11 billion by the year 2022. Ford Chairman, Bill Ford, claims to have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model lineup in an effort to keep up with their competitors.
Ford initially aimed at an investment nearing $4.5 billion, but a rise in expenses caused a sharp rise in their total investment costs. Ford’s engineering, research, and development expenses for 2016 were around $7.3 billion, an increase from the prior year where it neared $6.7 billion. Furthermore, Ford executive, Jim Hackett, informed investors that the company 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,” according to CNBC.
Out of the total 40 electric vehicles that Ford plans to release by 2022, 16 of those vehicles will reportedly be fully electric while the other 24 cars will be plug-in hybrids. Regarding their new move to electric vehicles, Ford stated, “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.”
Ford isn’t the only motor company that is aiming to make a change with its electric automobile lineup. According to CNBC, General Motors Co, Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen AG have already outlined aggressive plans to expand their electric vehicle offerings and target consumers who want luxury, performance, or an SUV body style—or maybe all three. GM specifically stated they would add 20 new battery electric and fuel cell vehicles to its lineup by 2023 in order to maintain its position with competitors. Toyota is also making headlines as they are racing to commercialize a breakthrough battery technology by 2025, with the potential to cut the cost of producing electric cars.
Ford and other automakers understand the importance of transitioning their attention to electric motor vehicles, and it will be interesting to see how they will fare in their quest to make electric cars the focal point of the industry.