Ford commits $11bn to cleaning up cars by 2022

US auto giant Ford will massively increase investments in electric vehicles and roll out 40 hybrid and electric vehicles by 2022, executive chairman Bill Ford said Sunday at the 2018 North American International Auto Show here.

Ford expects fuel economy and pollution standards to get tougher, "and rightfully so", said Raj Nair, head of Ford's North American operations.

Ford also introduced a new Bullitt Mustang, honoring the 51st anniversary of the legendary 1968 movie, and a high-performance ST version of the Edge crossover.

Volkswagen said in November it would spend $40 billion on electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by the end of 2022 - significantly more than when it announced two months earlier it would invest more than 20 billion euros on electric and self-driving cars through 2030.

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"This $11 billion you're seeing, that means we're all in now", Executive Chairman Bill Ford told reporters in Detroit. "The only question is whether customers will be with us and we think they will", added he. This is a huge increase from the $4.5 billion by 2020 the automaker announced in December 2015 that it planned to invest.

The new hybrid range will be part of Ford's global electrification strategy, which will see "13 new global electrified vehicles" come ton market in the next five years. His deputy James Hackett vowed to cut costs and eliminate some of the cars in the series to redirect the company's future to pickup, SUV and electric vehicles. And although the segment accounts for less than 1% of U.S. annual sales, the global demand is expected to grow as governments are gradually banning gasoline and diesel engines and batteries are priced with traditional bikes.

Of the planned 40 electric models, 16 will be entirely electric. A Ford Explorer features in the teaser announcement video, but it hasn't been confirmed that this is what the electrified Mach 1 will be based on. It will be an electric SUV.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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