By on January 3, 2017

2017 Ford Mustang - Image: Ford

Ford Motor Company announced today that it is committing itself fully to the development of electric vehicles, including a hybridized Mustang and F-150 pickup, a small electric crossover, and a fully-autonomous hybrid unit. Company CEO Mark Fields expressed his faith in the future of electric cars and Ford’s intention of bringing 13 new electrified models to the global market within the next five years.

“The era of the electric vehicle is dawning and we at Ford plan to be a leader in this exciting future,” Fields said. “Leading in electrification, in autonomy, and also connectivity are critical as we expand to be both an auto and a mobility company.” 

While Ford hasn’t yet had the time to outline the details of each new vehicle, Fields did refer to the hybrid Mustang as having “V8 power,” and said the electrified F-150 could serve as a mobile generator for remote work sites. In fact, most of his electrification talk revolved less around fuel-savings and more around performance benefits — the instant torque available via an electric motor, for example.

Both the Mustang and F-Series hybrids are slated for 2020, with the other vehicles arriving between 2019 and 2021. The first is a Transit Custom plug-in available in 2019, followed by two new pursuit-rated police vehicles. Both of the hybrid squad cars will be outfitted in Chicago and one will be built there as well, most likely indicating there is an electrified Taurus on the horizon.

In addition to the new Mustang, Michigan’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant will also be assembling a BEV crossover — with a 300 mile range — and an autonomous hybrid designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing. The self-driving hybrid, scheduled for 2021, is anticipated to forego all traditional controls, lacking a steering wheel, pedals, and any input from the driver.

While all of the new vehicles are part of Ford’s $4.5 billion investment into electrification, Flat Rock is receiving an $700 million to overhaul the factory and add a new manufacturing and innovation center.

There is also money being allocated to develop wireless charging technology for electric vehicles and software to schedule time at approved recharging stations. New York and several other major cities will see Ford test a fleet of twenty Transit Connect electric prototypes and hybrid taxis.

“As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people’s lives better,” said Fields. “Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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94 Comments on “Ford Puts Faith in an Electrified Future with Hybrid Mustang, F-150, 300-Mile EV...”


  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Gonna need quick-charger standards like they did internet standards.

    Who’s going to pay for this new backbone into the boonies? I think we’ll be abandoned.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Ayup, the urbanization of the United States continues apace.

      • 0 avatar
        orenwolf

        I think you’ll find the rate is actually slower than it has been in the past:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanization_in_the_United_States

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Somewhat slower, mostly because the backcountry is largely depopulated by now. Future changes will be primarily existing populations aging and dying without replacement.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            I call BS on that. My personal experiences say otherwise.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “My personal experiences say otherwise.”

            Remember those film clips/videos in like middle-school science class that start by showing somebody standing in a field or somewhere and then zoom out and out and out and out until you’re looking at the whole planet Earth and it makes you think “Willikers! My life and everything I’ve known and done and everywhere I’ve been is totally like smaller than a single water molecule in the whole ocean!”?

            It’s like that.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      “Who’s going to pay for this new backbone into the boonies?”

      Why, the Tennessee Valley Authority, My Dear Sir!

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        Silly pizza, the TVA will be busy making Thump’s Great Again® nukes.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        If everyone buys Tesla roof shingles and a Tesla battery for their homes, why do we need a backbone to the boonies?

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          How much are the Tesla roof shingles?

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “Tesla roof shingles and a Tesla battery for their homes”

            Six months of 24/7 power per annum*! Honest!

            *Six months in toto; consecutivity not guaranteed.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            They’re not out yet. I suspect a typical home will need $40K to re-roof, vs. $15K for asphalt shingles. You make up the extra cost in free electricity for life.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “I suspect a typical home will need $40K to re-roof, vs. $15K for asphalt shingles. You make up the extra cost in free electricity for life.”

            “The Man In The High Castle” needs juice to watch his films… :-)

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          depends where you live; right now in MI you wouldn’t be getting a whole lot out of a solar roof.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          For 10 years. So Every 10 years you will need to re-shingle your home.

          The shingles are priced at todays commodity prices.

          Remember 70% of the cost for the manufacture of batteries is just materials.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            PV panels usually come with a 20 or 30 year projected useful life in the US

            Much like a roof.

            Also, Elon Musk claims his PV glass roof tiles will cost the same or less than a conventional roof. Even I’ll only believe that when I see it, though, and I love me some Tesla-flavored Kool aid…

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      Abandoned?

      Huge reduction in fuel demand = Lower gas prices
      Huge reduction in ICE demand = Cheaper vehicles

      We’re going to be loving this in the boonies. By the time the vehicle supply dries up and Fuel prices increase, electric will be cheap and reliable.

      Like fuel stations, as demand for EV increases, people will build it for revenue generation, but I think this is pretty positive for the “Boonies”. “Hybrid” cars like the Ford trucks however, doesn’t mean ‘plug In Hybrid’. They very likely are going to just be electric assist…. but even if they do become “plug in”, they won’t be dependent on it.

      Full EVification is still a long time coming.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        While a huge reduction in fuel demand will certainly help keep gas prices lower than they would otherwise be it won’t reduced the price of conventional ICE powered vehicles at all. In fact it will have the opposite effect if the current CAFE stands.

        Cost to build F150 hybrid popularly equipped say $30k sell price say $35k. Cost to build conventional ICE powered popularly equipped F150 say $29k sell price $45k. Cost to build the most powerful version of the F150 $30k sell price $55k. Ok maybe the premium for conventional power won’t be that high but you can bet if CAFE stands as is you’ll be paying a premium for the conventional ICE powered vehicles to subsidize the cost of the hybrid and EVs.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          Where are these build/sell numbers coming from? Perhaps the purported high cost of building hybrids is an urban myth – something repeated so often people assume it is true.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            At this point it doesn’t cost that much more to build a Hybrid. The RAV-4 hybrid only carries a ~$700 premium and on the MKZ it became a no cost option soon after introduction. I would expect the premium to be a little more for a truck duty system that is supposed to have a mid range towing capacity.

            My point was that in the future if the proposed CAFE regulations stick they will adjust the pricing to drive the power train mix where it needs to go. That may mean slim profits on the Hybrid and big fat profits on the few V8s they still sell. I can see a case where the Hybrid becomes the base power train with the plug in and EcoBoost V6 upgrade being similarly priced and the V8 commanding a huge premium and only be available on the top trims.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I don’t know why they just don’t partner with Tesla to expand Superchargers. They’re far enough ahead on that where it may not matter what the SAE wants to do.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “I think we’ll be abandoned”

      Will be abandoned.

      Have been abandoned.

      Yes we can!

  • avatar
    VoGo

    More evidence of the brilliance of the B&B. EVs and hybrids are obviously technologies with no future.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I think the B&B like hybrids. Personally, I especially like the idea of V6 and V8 hybrids. I’ve made a few comments in the past that Lincoln should do a 6 cylinder hybrid.

      thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/08/2017-lincoln-mkz-reserve-hybrid-review-makes-want-fusion/#comment-8196458

      Now, low-displacement turbo and twincharged engines. THOSE are what many of us don’t like.

      I’m largely neutral on full EVs.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “Now, low-displacement turbo and twincharged engines. THOSE are what many of us don’t like.”

        which is odd, because I remember when Lincoln showed off the MKR concept, with the twin-turbo 3.5 (then dubbed “TwinForce.”) all the car geeks were like “BUILDITBUILDITBUILDITBUILDITBUILDIT!”

        now all of a sudden they’re evil.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I don’t really consider a 3.5L V6 “low displacement” although I guess some might. Generally I’d use that term on engines under 3.0L.

          As far as the 3.5EB is concerned I think your anecdote shows that the car geeks aren’t opposed to the idea of turbo engines just the execution.

          I was fairly excited about the Twinforce when it was announced. I was never a huge fan of the naturally-aspirated 4.6 or 5.4 and the handful of vehicles in Ford’s forced induction past had a decently positive mythos.

          The reality when I finally got to drive a few examples is that it was just a Duratec35 set to fast forward. It is a good Modular V8 replacement but nothing to stir up any passion the way the Coyote or even the Duratec37 does.

          And all the modern turbo 4s are basically diesels.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      The B&B mostly conceded hybrids as viable.

      And while I’m waiting for the Bolt, I’m uniquely low-miles and don’t expect the rest of errand-chasing, kid-haulin’ Cold Country ever to much buy into pure EVs.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      There is only a future with hadouts at all levels, from R&D to purchase.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        For the fifth time, BAFO, there are no subsidies for hybrids (in the US, dunno about Oz)…anymore.

        For a broader perspective of the question of subsidies to speed up the maturation of technology benefiting the public, consider the example of solar power. (Or consider the existence of the Internet you’re using right now for that matter.)

        Per the International Business Times, 12/27/16: “The cost of production of electricity through utilization of solar energy is outpacing other alternatives as the cost accrued in investing in the installation of solar panels is turning out to be comparatively cheaper than a comparable investment in coal, natural gas or other options, according to a new World Economic Forum (WEF) report. In more than 30 countries, electricity produced through solar and wind energy is the same price or cheaper than any new fossil fuel capacity, the report, released last Wednesday, noted.”

        Subsidy programs which encouraged solar’s development and growth back before the economics made as much sense (as production was low and the learning curve was still being scaled) had a hand in jump-starting the era of abundant energy now stretching before us…one where maintaining a first world lifestyle won’t require funding terrorist oil states, poisoning ourselves with coal or fracking waste, or mucking about with the climate. In a decade’s time I think nearly everyone, no matter how ideologically motivated, contrarian, or blinkered, will see in retrospect that it was money well spent.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      I have been slowly coming around to the idea of a hybrid. There just isn’t a hybrid out that I would actually want to buy.

      A hybrid Mustang would be the exact sort of hybrid that I would want to buy.

      So I will be watching this with interest.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        I have to agree with you there. My issue with hybrids and EVs isn’t their functionality, it’s their looks. Most of the specialty models like the Prius, Leaf, and Volt have to shout out their owner’s ecocredentials.

        Why can’t a hybrid/EV just look good? A hybrid Mustang could fill that niche for someone.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      For me, hybrids are vehicles of the past. We owned a Prius for 12 years and it was a dependable and efficient machine, up until the day it was rear ended by a Silverado. It was one of those “good life decision” cars.

      BEVs are next. We hold a Model 3 reservation, and plan to exercise it when the car is ready. I’ve also been following the Bolt closely.

      The 200 mile range really is the golden number for us. Even with a fudge factor for Real Weather (TM), all non-roadtrip travel fits within the car’s daily performance envelope. Our road trips can be covered by the supercharger network as it exists today.

      After the Model 3, the next upgrade will be a BEV minivan.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Fields is STARTING TO SOUND ASPIRING-TO-BE MUSK, but at least he’s still FAR-AWAY-FROM-FARADAY.

    #GAGA

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I wonder where Ford’s newfound religion comes from. EPA/CAFE can’t be it.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I don’t see any evidence of a newfound religion at Ford. The Hybrid F150 has been under development for some years and in fact it was supposed to be debuting before 2020 from what I have read in the past. The fact that they will spread that tech to their other RWD platforms isn’t surprising as they will want to have as many outlets to help amortize the development costs.

      The autonomous vehicle is also something they have been working on for a number of years as are EVs in general.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Add an electric motor to the ecoboost and I’ll buy one, errr lease one

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    These mythical hybrid trucks need to do better than GM’s recent half-hearted attempt, in which a Silverado hybrid was rated at 20/20/20 mpg, and had very few takers.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I wouldn’t call the 20/20/20 trucks recent as GM has a 2016 Silverado Hybrid that is rated at 18/24 which makes the V8 as efficient as the V6 version but with more power than the standard V8 version. It is a BAS system so by nature it is considered a mild hybrid.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      improving a Silverado or Tahoe to 20/20/20 has much more effect overall than eking a few more mpg out of a Prius.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        True, but the question is whether anyone would buy one.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Yup, us green energy hippies have realized that downsizing is the low hanging fruit of efficiency.

          I might consider Tahoe Hybrid if I had 5 kids and an RV. And I hadn’t spent all my money on the kids already.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          For the F150 I expect the Hybrid will sell like hotcakes to the fleets. Many gov’t fleets have mandates to buy “alternative fuel” vehicles if one is available and a Hybrid fits that bill with a lower premium than diesel which carries the penalty of increased maintenance and repair costs vs gas while the Hybrid lowers maintenance and is on par for repair costs.

          For the Mustang I think there will be a reasonable take rate if the performance/pricing balance is right.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            Many, many of the Escape Hybrids went to government departments, utilities, taxi fleets…

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Yup my state bought them by the train car load and is stacking them deep and selling them cheap as they age or mile out. A good chunk of them are AWD too.

  • avatar
    BlueEr03

    Meanwhile the C-Max is sitting there, waiting for an update, like “WTF?!”

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      No the C-Max is sitting there waiting for the ax to drop. I seriously doubt we will see any updates or a replacement in the US. I expect to see an Escape Hybrid take over that role again thanks in part to the RAV-4 Hybrid that Toyota now offers.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      An awd option on the C-min might revive it.

      Speaking of the Escape Hybrid, the quality and efficiency of its hybrid system compared to the much newer Rav4 hybrid shows that Ford’s hybrid engineering is equal to anyone’s.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I was surprised that Ford hasn’t offered an AWD version considering the take rate of that option on the Escape Hybrid.

        The one possible problem is their current eCVT may not be set up for the PTU. Speaking of which I never understood why they didn’t offer AWD on the Fusion Hybrid.

  • avatar
    George B

    I can hear the F-150 hybrid commercial with “torque like a locomotive” in Dennis Leary’s voice. Not sure why most customers would want a hybrid F-150, but it might be useful for some fleet applications with lots of stop-and-go driving.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I hated driving the last F-150 I owned. It had a badass 4.5L V8 under the hood, but couldn’t get out of its own way with all of that sound and fury under the hood.

      It was also the worst vehicle I’ve driven in patchy snow/ice this decade.

      A smooth CVT+Hybrid system would fix most of my gripes with that truck. The only remaining gripe would be that the backup bed was too high, but maybe choosing a more tradesman like trim level or a visit to a low rider shop could help with that.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        The current hybrid/cvt setups have a serious lack of powerful engine braking that would need to be addressed for utility vehicles. And maybe the all-electric reversing also.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Yeah if they retain the all electric reverse they better put a big healthy traction motor/generator. I almost got stuck in our Fusion when I went down a steep driveway. Trying to back up was a no go as it didn’t have enough power and going up forward was a problem too as it didn’t have enough traction being FWD.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Was the Fusion all-electric reverse? My C-Max Energi regularly fires up the gas engine when backing up our very short (it’s barely a C-Max length) but pretty steep driveway if I’m not exceedingly delicate with the throttle.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Yes the Fusion and all hybrids that use the planetary eCVT like Ford and Toyota are not capable of reversing the direction of the power flow from the engine. This has a good interactive animation showing how it all works. http://eahart.com/prius/psd/ Of course that is based on the Prius’ gear set and motor design limits.

            I just picked up a new OBD adapter and downloaded the FORScan software. FORScan replicates most of the abilities of the Ford IDS. That means you can watch the speeds of each of the motors and of course the engine. You can also read the battery voltage and the amperage flowing out or into the battery in real time. Watch/log the data and you can find the max speed of the Range MG for Ford’s current eCVT.

            There are Android and iphone Lite as well as a Windows version that with the extended license can be used to change settings of things like DRLs, and seat belt reminder, in cases where there are different axle ratios and tires sizes from the factory select those. You can even program a key/fob when you only one, or turn on/off the ability to add a 3rd key when you have two keys/fobs present.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            As scoutdude said, when these hybrids are in reverse the gas engine may or may not be running. If it is running it is acting as a generator to charge the battery to power the other electric motor to power the wheels, not powering the wheels directly.

            For “off-road” use the lack of a low range is not a problem going up. I’ve never been unable to get up anything and only once got in a situation where I could not reverse. Not because of lack of power but because if the vehicle cannot budge, power to the electric motor is cut. If you put current through an electric motor that is not turning the insulation on the windings melts. Luckily I was able to go forward.

            Lack of a low range is a liability going down steep rough or slippery roads. You have to rely on the brakes. Which can overheat and is clumsy on snow and ice.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            I’ll have to look into the FORscan app. I Wonder if it can also display the percentage engagement of the PTU.

            I have Hobdrive, which has a profile for the Escape Hybrid and can display the PTU data. But Hobdrive has such a useless display that it cannot be used if you are driving.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ Brand Loyalty yes it can display the PTU data. You do want an adapter that can read the MS-bus to gain access to all the modules on that new of a Ford. The windows version with the extended license is needed to change settings in the various modules.

            With the Android version you can choose how many “gauges” you have at a time and how big they are. The Windows is too clunking to use when driving but all the extra diagnostic features are great, for example run the key on engine running self test or in the case of a hybrid force on continuous run if for example you were trying to diagnose where that noise was coming from.

            I highly recommend it if you really want to know what your Ford (and some Mazdas) is really doing or you want to take control of it and make it do what you want, not what the engineers or nannys wanted.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Great article, so how much are these vehicles and how many tax dollars have been spent on them already.

  • avatar
    jfranci3

    Somewhere there is a Flowmaster engineer trying to make an electric motor loud and rumblely.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    I don’t for an instant think that this means we will see an electrified Taurus at all, at least not anything we currently think of as a Taurus. Those pursuit rated hybrids will most likely be a pursuit rated version of either the Expedition SSV, the new RWD Explorer replacement, or maybe a pursuit rated F150.

    The police car is dead long live the police utility.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I would buy a mustang ecoboost hybrid with 10 speed auto. However, it seems doubtful it will ever come out. I should probably just buy an infiniti sport hybrid.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    The one thing that no one seems to be noticing is that this pretty much confirms that the next Explorer/Aviator will be RWD based. The current system used in the Fusion and C-Max is just right for what it needs to be but isn’t up to being pursuit rated and it doesn’t make sense to upgrade all of them to be pursuit rated nor to make a police only version. Meanwhile the system for the F150 will be rated for mid range towing and Mustang performance use so it will just be a matter of calibration.

    So since the new F150/Mustang system is the one that is suitable for pursuit rating the new Explorer will use than and it must be RWD based.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Everything that is new is old!

      FWD Conti, RWD Explorer/Aviator, Focus in Hermosillo, Mondeo based midsized vehicle is for sale. Next you’ll tell me that the Expedition and SuperDuty aren’t over a decade old. Wait…what? The Ranger is coming back? Holy $hit.

      In the year 2000….

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        And while we are at it roll the clock back a little further and sell a Ranger based SUV with the Bronco name while they are on a nostalgic bent.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Alan Mulally was sharp as a tack.

        Mark Fields appears to be as dumb as a rock.

        Ford is no longer in good hands with leadership that wants to talk up the bull$hit fantastical crap that Fields has been paying so much lip service to, lately.

        OR – Ford employees, shareholders and the Ford Family had better hope that Fields is merely paying lip service to electrifying Mustangs and F-Series Pickups and such, and fielding fully autonomous vehicles by 2021, and there’s little actual wasted monies to try and do these idiotic things.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          The govt fleets will buy up the Hybrid F150 like crazy. Ford will also likely not offer it on a true base truck forcing those fleets into a more profitable truck. That is what they did with the Escape Hybrid with good success. They are also doing that on the Fusion Energi another must buy segment for many gov’t agency applications.

          If the current CAFE regulations stick they will be sitting pretty while GM and FCA are left scrambling.

          The autonomous vehicle doesn’t sound likely to show up that soon and hopefully he is just playing investors on that front.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    The Hybrid F150 makes a lot of sense. They have the available payload to take the weight of the battery pack, especially since most truck buyers don’t use the full extent of their vehicle’s capabilities. Bumping a pickup fleet average from 15-20 mpgs will do way more to lower fuel consumption and save consumers $ than taking a compact from 30-35 mpg, and that’s before you account for the 3/4 milion pickups being sold vs half that many cars to spread the savings out over. A few have mentioned government buyers, and I see those eating the hybrid F150s up. My Fire Department uses F150s for most of our inspectors, and they carry almost nothing in them nor do they tow anything, meaning they would have no problem if they lost payload capabilities to battery packs. They do a lot of stop and go driving too, so they could probably see some serious fuel savings.

    As far as the hybrid mustang goes, although I’m sure it’s not likely to happen, I would love to see the hybrid engine paired with a manual and a lower power 4 cylinder (like the 1.6 or 2.0). There is a lack of affordable rwd fuel efficient sporty cars on the market. A Mustang that could average 30-35 mpg combined would be awesome.


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