Ford investing US$4.5bn in EV development

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Ford has revealed plans to invest US$4.5bn in EVs by 2020, including the new Focus Electric. 

The company aims to add 13 new electrified vehicles to its range by 2020.

Starting production in late-2016, the new electric Focus features an all-new DC fast-charge capability delivering 80% charge in 30 minutes, giving 100 miles of range. This is around two hours faster than today’s Focus EV.

At the same time, the company has announced that it is expanding its global battery research and EV development efforts straight away, adding research and engineering capabilities in Europe and Asia to put into place its ambitious electrification plans.

The company says it has invested in a world-class battery research and development facility at the University of Michigan to accelerate advanced battery research and development

The global expansion also allows Ford’s Electrified Powertrain Engineering teams to share common technologies and test batteries virtually and in real time to develop new technology faster while reducing the need for costly prototypes. The EPE team, based in Dearborn, Michigan, has taken on 120 new electrified vehicle engineers to cover the increased workload.

The laboratory has oversight of connected facilities in China, Germany and the UK, using a hardware-in-the-loop setup to test battery technology and control system hardware in a virtual environment to simulate how batteries and control modules would behave in different environments around the world.

“Batteries are the life force of any EV, and we have been committed to growing our leadership in battery research and development for more than 15 years,” said Kevin Layden, director, Ford Electrification Programs.

“Battery technology has evolved rapidly since we launched our first volume electrified product, the Ford Escape Hybrid, in 2004, and we look forward to developing even better vehicle battery technology for our customers.”

December 17, 2015

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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