Ford has been light on electrification announcements, but its future powertrain plans came into better focus this past Sunday. The automaker announced it will launch 16 electric cars in the next five years, and the first will arrive in 2020, The Verge reported. However, many of the upcoming battery-electric cars are expected to serve the Chinese market, not North America.
Ford's grand-scale plans will see the automaker spend $11 billion to keep competitive in a growing field of electrification announcements. Notably, rival General Motors will launch 20 electric cars by 2023. Two new battery-electric cars will arrive in less than 18 months.
The plan also includes 24 hybrid and plug-in hybrids vehicles in the same time frame, for a total of 40 electrified vehicles.
Ford now sells a battery-electric version of its Focus hatchback.
Ford suggested its next battery-electric car, a small SUV that will likely arrive with a 300-mile or more range, may be performance-oriented. It may even revive the Mach 1 name. Enthusiasts will recall "Mach 1" arrived in 1968 as a performance option for the Ford Mustang. Placing the nameplate on a battery-electric SUV would be a unusual reuse of the historic label, to say the least. Ford spokesperson Said Deep told Motor Authority the name is not final yet, however, and could be scrapped in favor of something else.
The $11 billion commitment to electrification is a substantial increase from the automaker's former budget. Ford originally said it would spend $4.5 billion to develop 13 electric cars in 2015. The new electric-car plans come as CEO Jim Hackett prepares to push the automaker with a new strategy focused on EVs, SUVs, and trucks. Notably, Ford will reallocate $7 billion once earmarked for passenger cars to further develop models in the growing SUV, truck, and electric-car segments.