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Ford invests $4.5 billion in electric car program

Ford invests $4.5 billion in electric car program

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Ford Motor Company is investing $4.5 billion in building an electric car program and plans to have 13 electric vehicles on the road by 2020. The strategy, announced today from its Dearborn headquarters, marks Ford's most ambitious commitment to electrification to date.

Plans for 13 electric vehicles by 2020

Despite lackluster EV sales, automakers are overhauling their product lineups to cut down fuel consumption ahead of a 2025 deadline for more stringent emissions standards. Ford's expanded electric portfolio will include a new Focus equipped with accelerated charging ability, charging 80 percent in 30 minutes at a projected range of 100 miles. About 40 percent of the company's products will be available in electrified versions. Ford also showed reporters a covered model of the Fusion Energy plug-in hybrid that will debut at the North American International Auto Show, according to the Detroit Free Press. Chevrolet will also debut the electric Bolt in Detroit in January.

When we spoke to CEO Mark Fields earlier this year, it wasn't clear how Ford would handle the growth of its EV product lineup. He cited the cost of batteries, range, and infrastructure as potential road blocks. The company is expanding its electric powertrain engineering program and has already hired 120 new engineers.

The announcement was made shortly after the company revealed its ride sharing plan earlier in the day. Employees will pilot an on demand ride sharing program for their daily commutes that could serve as a model for reducing the number of cars on the road in major cities.