Ford Motor Company recently announced it is investing an additional $4.5 billion in electrified vehicles by 2020. It includes the new Focus Electric with all-new DC fast-charge capability, which delivers an 80 percent charge in an estimated 30 minutes and projected 100-mile range.
Ford is also 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. This represents Ford’s largest ever electrified vehicle investment in a five-year period.
Electrification is another way automakers are meeting increasing fuel economy and sustainability standards, but it is also a way to enhance user experience. Raj Nair, executive vice president, Product Development at Ford, notes that manufacturers need to remember that aspect of their products, too.
“The challenge going forward isn’t who provides the most technology in a vehicle but who best organizes that technology in a way that most excites and delights people,” says Raj Nair, executive vice president, Product Development. “By observing consumers, we can better understand which features and strengths users truly use and value and create even better experiences for them going forward.”
Electrification and material lightweighting are both parts of the automotive industry’s effort to make vehicles lighter and more efficient without sacrificing strength or performance. Ford has also been at the forefront of the automotive lightweighting trend, recently announcing that composites will play a key role in its sustainability plan going forward. Earlier this summer, Ford also become the first major automaker to mass produce carbon fiber wheels as standard equipment for a production vehicle.