Ford sees strong sales increase for hybrids and EVs

Automotive News reports on Ford's projections for hybrid and electric car sales.

Auto Tech

In 10 years, up to one quarter of Ford Motor Co.'s global sales could be electrified vehicles, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles, Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of global product development, said in a speech at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

By 2015, Ford plans for those vehicles to account for 2 to 5 percent of its global sales volume, Kuzak said. By 2020, that will rise to 10 to 25 percent, he said. Hybrids are projected to make up most of those sales.

In 2010, hybrid-electric vehicles made up about 1 percent of Ford's global unit sales. Kuzak, CEO Alan Mulally and other Ford executives discussed the automaker's electrification goals and plans at the show.

Ford has electrified vehicles in the works on compact and midsize platforms. More electrified vehicles could be built on other platforms, Kuzak had said in a media briefing before the Las Vegas event.

"The real step that needs to be taken on electrification is to make electrified vehicles affordable. One way to make them affordable is to drive volume. That's really the whole basis of our strategy," Kuzak said.

Kuzak said Ford set such a wide range--10 to 25 percent--for its 2020 electrified vehicles target because those vehicles still require government subsidies, and the level of future subsidies in the United States, Europe, and China is unclear.

In the short term, Ford will offer five electrified vehicles in the United States by 2012. They will include the 2012 Focus Electric, which Ford says will require half the charging time as the Nissan Leaf electric sedan while offering a comparable driving range on a full charge.

The Focus Electric will require just a 3- to 4-hour charge on a 240-volt home outlet charging station, said Sherif Marakby, Ford's director of electrification. It takes up to seven hours to charge a Nissan Leaf at a 220- or 240-volt charging station. Ford didn't provide details on how it has shortened the charging time.

Other planned electric vehicles include hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the C-Max small minivan for the 2013 model year.

(Source: Automotive News)

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