All-Battery Focus with New DC Fast-Charge Capability
Is First of 13 New Electrified Vehicle Models by 2020
As Automaker Boosts Global Work on Better Batteries
Ford, stating that wants “to make people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves,” has pledged to invest an additional $4.5 billion in electrified vehicle projects and technologies by 2020, including a new Focus Electric with DC fast-charge capability.
The Focus Electric, which is to enter production late next year, has a projected single-charge range of 100 miles. It is one of 13 new EVs or hybrids promised by 2020 – “more than 40% of Ford’s nameplates globally will be electrified by the decade’s end,” the automaker says.
Ford also said this week that it’s “expanding its electrified vehicles research and development program in Europe and Asia this year, creating a ‘hub and spoke’ system that allows the global team to further accelerate battery technology and take advantage of market-specific opportunities.”
Ford’s EPE – electrified powertrain engineering – program is based in Dearborn, Mich., where more than 120 EV engineers are moving to a dedicated engineering laboratory.
“The expanded engineering capabilities enabled by the Ford Engineering Laboratory allow the team to control a network of world class facilities in China, England, Germany, and the U.S. Through this network, the EPE team will take advantage of globally connected technologies to develop lighter and more durable EV batteries,” Ford says.
“Batteries are the life force of any EV,” Ford electrification programs director Kevin Layden said in a release. “Battery technology has evolved rapidly since we launched our first volume electrified product, the Ford Escape Hybrid, in 2004, and we look forward to developing even better vehicle battery technology for our customers.”
In addition to traditional market research, Ford says it is investing in “social science-based research globally, observing how consumers interact with vehicles and gaining new insights into the cognitive, social, cultural, technological and economic nuances that affect product design.”
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Source: Ford with Fleets & Fuels follow-up