US automaker Ford Motor Company announced on April 6 an electrification strategy targeted at China’s growing new energy car market, with the first locally made plug-in hybrid scheduled to roll off the assembly line in early 2018.
The model, Mondeo Energi, which will feature an electric drive range of up to 50 kilometers, will be manufactured by its joint venture Changan Ford. Ford also confirmed plans to bring an all-new fully electric small SUV to China within five years.
“The time is right for Ford to expand our electrified car lineup and investments in China,” said Ford President and CEO Mark Fields.
“We are prioritizing our electrification efforts in China to reflect its importance as a global electrified vehicle market and to make lives better, simpler and more cost effective for Chinese consumers.”
China has been the world’s largest market for new energy vehicles, which consist of electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell cars, since 2015.
Xu Yanhua, a vice-secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said the sales of such cars this year in China are expected to reach 800,000 units, a 60 percent growth year-on-year.
Ford said it will also start manufacturing electrified powertrains in China from around 2020. The carmaker also plans to expand its new energy vehicle engineering capabilities at its research facility in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, with a focus on incorporating Chinese customer needs into Ford’s next generation electric car technologies.
“Ford is committed to developing smarter, greener mobility solutions for the future, and our team in China will be at the forefront of this innovation,” said Trevor Worthington, vice-president of Ford Asia Pacific responsible for product development.
The automaker said it will offer a comprehensive range of electrified solutions by 2025 — hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully battery-powered electric vehicles to Chinese customers.
By then, 70 percent of all Ford nameplates in China will have electrified powertrain options, including the full range of nameplates produced by Changan Ford.
By 2025, new energy vehicles are expected to account for over 15 percent of total passenger vehicle sales in China, according to the Society of Automotive Engineers of China.
Globally, the company is investing $4.5 billion to electrify its most-popular, highest-volume vehicles.
Earlier this year, Ford confirmed it will launch 13 new energy cars in the next five years, including the all-new fully electric small SUV that will be sold in China, and a hybrid autonomous vehicle designed for commercial operations in mobility services, starting in North America.