Ford Declares Commitment to Electrified Vehicles (PHEVs, HEVs, EVs)

Ford released a teaser video for a plug-in vehicle to be announced at the North American  International Auto Show, January 11-24, 2016.

Ford is the top seller of plug-in hybrid vehicles and second in total sales of  electrified vehicles in America.  The company recently expanded its offerings in growing markets, including Taiwan and Korea, where the company offers the Mondeo Hybrid (equivalent to the Ford Fusion Hybrid). Ford also announced it is bringing the C-MAX Energi Plug-In Hybrid and the Mondeo Hybrid to China.

Ford is investing an additional $4.5 billion in electrified vehicle solutions by 2020.  Ford is adding 13 new electrified vehicles to its portfolio by 2020, when more than 40 percent of the company’s global nameplates will come in electrified versions. The company said this represents Ford’s largest-ever electrified vehicle investment in a five-year period.

Ford is accelerating the expansion of electrified vehicle battery research and development adding research and engineering capabilities in Europe and Asia.  The company has invested in a world-class battery research and development facility at the University of Michigan to accelerate advanced battery research and development.

Will There Be a Fuel-Cell Drivetrain in the Ford C-Max?

Automotive News published an article today that could be just speculation, but it suggests the Ford C-Max would be a likely candidate for a fuel cell.  “… Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, has said the company will continue investing in the C-Max. It could get a freshening in 2016 and is due for a redesign for the 2018 model year. Ford, Daimler and Renault Nissan said last year that their fuel cell partnership could result in vehicles on sale as early as 2017. The C-Max would be a likely candidate for a Ford fuel cell vehicle.”  Interesting.  If you know of other references to a fuel cell being used in a future C-Max design, please post in the comments below.

Who Leads Plug-in Electric Vehicle Sales in the U.S.? Nissan? Tesla? No, Ford

I’ve been surprised that the Ford C-Max Energi hasn’t sold better since it was introduced.  There have been many rough edges to the start up of plug-in vehicles for Ford.  However, it’s often overlooked that Ford is doing quite well as a competitor in the new electric vehicle market.  Ford has three plug-in vehicles today, the Fusion Energi, C-Max Energi and Focus Electric.  There are rumors that a Focus Energi will be introduced soon.  It is also expected Ford will introduce Energi drivetrains in other models during the coming years.  In the U.S., Ford was the top seller of plug-in vehicles last month of those releasing sales.  Tesla doesn’t release sales data on a monthly basis.  Tesla estimates cover a broad range and they may have sold more Model S sedans than Ford.  Autobloggreen estimates Tesla sales as 2300.  CleanTechnia estimates sales as 1267.  There were 1,425 Nissan Leafs sold, the top selling model.  Ford had combined sales of 1,460 for the three models, a 239% increase from 2013 when just 611 vehicles were sold for the three models in February.

I doubt if the average person even knows Ford sells plug-in vehicles.  In my opinion, the Energi drivetrain is the way Ford can exceed government CAFE standards.  Because of CAFE, I think Ford will introduce Energi drivetrains in many vehicles which can offset CAFE requirements for trucks through credit trading.  The North American truck market for Ford is 250% larger than the car market.  Because of CAFE trading, Ford should have a big incentive to sell Energi vehicles, such as the Fusion and C-Max too.  This is a good deal for those interested in the Ford C-Max Energi.  It wouldn’t surprise me if lease deals and rebates on the Fusion and C-Max Energi become very aggressive in the coming years.

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