In an effort to catch up to other major automakers, Ford announced last week that they were doubling their current investment in electric cars, planning to spend $11 billion by the year 2022.
16 fully electric Ford cars will be rolled out within the next five years, with the first arriving in 2020. This is up from 2015, when Ford invested $4.5 billion in their electric program (which planned for 13 electric models by 2020). New to Ford’s lineup is the Mach 1, an all-electric high performance SUV.
The move is a bold one for Ford, but one they had to make as the EV arms race intensifies. GM recently announced plans for 20 new electric cars by 2023, and saw their stock price shoot up as a result. Ford’s rival also debuted concepts of a fully autonomous car that didn’t even have pedals or a steering wheel.
Virtually every major automakers has recently announced a major focus on all-electric cars, with many of them saying they’re looking towards all electric lineups. Volvo plans to go entirely gas-free by 2019 and Volkswagen by 2030, and Mercedes-Benz plans to have electric versions of all their cars by 2022.
Of course, Ford’s promise to focus on electric comes at the same time they announced several new gas-guzzling models at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It’s clear that while electric may be the future, gas is still here to stay for a while.
Electric cars do still only make up a small fraction of annual vehicle sales, but Ford’s hope is that basing their new lineup on names that people know (like the Mustang) will help make the transition a little easier.
As the movement towards electric vehicles continues (UPS recently ordered 125 Tesla semi electric trucks), it’s interesting to watch automakers adapt to keep up with the trends. Does this mean a true end to gas-powered vehicles?