Ford Motor Company is planning to significantly increase investment in electric and hybrid vehicles and raise it to more than $11 billion by 2022, the company’s chairman, Bill Ford, announced at the Detroit Auto Show on Sunday. This is more than double from the initially planned $4.5 billion, and the funds would come from shifting capital investment away from sedans and internal combustion engines to developing the electric vehicle architecture. “We’re all in on this and we’re taking our mainstream vehicles, our most iconic vehicles, and we’re electrifying them,” Ford stated.
The auto manufacturer has a plan to put out 24 hybrid and 16 all-electric models in the future. This decision could make Ford more competitive in the electric vehicle market, where other automakers like Tesla, Chrysler, GM, and Volkswagen have already set out to invest more in research and development. In December 2017, Ford revealed at an event in Shanghai it would launch 50 new models in China by 2050, including 15 electric vehicles. Ford’s research and development expenses for 2016, the latest year with full data, were $7.3 billion, up from $6.7 billion in 2015.
Carmakers have been under pressure from regulators in California, Europe, and China to contain carbon emissions and use of fossil fuels. On the other hand, Tesla’s success with electric sedans and SUVs inspires buyers and the competition to shift to environmentally friendly models that also embody luxury together with high performance.