Ford Invests $4.5 Billion To Put 13 New Electrified Vehicles On The Road By 2020

Ford Motor Company is rolling the dice on electric vehicles with a monstrous investment. How monstrous? Try $4.5 billion, which is how much the auto maker has committed to spending in order to put 13 new electric vehicles on roadways by 2020, including a new year model Focus Electric with all-new DC fast-charge capability.

It's a big bet on electric that represents Ford's largest ever electrified vehicle investment in a five-year period. Once complete, more than 40 percent of Ford's global nameplates will come in electric versions. It will also see the expansion of Ford's EV offerings to growing markets like Taiwan, Korea, and China.

Ford Focus Fast Charge

Ford’s shift to add electrified vehicle solutions answers increasing global trends calling for cleaner, more efficient vehicles," Ford said.

The initiative kicks off with the aforementioned Focus Electric. Armed with Ford's new DC fast-charge technology, the 2017 model Focus Electric will be able to charge to 80 percent capacity in just 30 minutes, around 2 hours faster than Ford's current Focus Electric. Fully charged, the battery will keep the Focus Electric cruising along for up to 100 miles, up from 76 miles on the current model.

That's an impressive gain, though GM has a new Chevrolet Bolt EV model that promises 200 miles of driving on a single charge. The competition is heating up in the EV market, which is why part of Ford's investment will go towards battery technology.

"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," said 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."

Along those lines, the 2017 Focus Electric will be equipped with what Ford's call a Brake Coach, a smart feature that coaches the driver on how to use smooth braking to maximize the energy captured through the Regenerative Braking System (energy captured through braking is returned to the battery)