Ford nixed its car models for the U.S. market last year. That doesn’t mean, however, the iconic American carmaker is throwing in the towel on fuel-efficiency. Quite the contrary. Over the next several years, Ford will spend a reported $11 billion to create electrified variants of every one of its models — the first full-line automaker to attempt such a feat.
- Ford is planning electrified versions of every model it sells within the next few years.
- Even police specific models will be built as hybrids, which is expected to save 1300 gallons of fuel per year, per vehicle.
- In 2020, we expect to see a hybrid and possibly an all-electric version of the best selling F150 pickup.
This electrified onslaught starts this summer with the all-new 2020 Explorer, which will debut the brand’s new Modular Hybrid Technology (MHT) designed for heavier, rear- and all-wheel drive models. The Police Interceptor variant of the new Explorer Hybrid is rated to achieve 24 miles per gallon, compared with the 17 mpg of the outgoing Police Interceptor Explorer, according to a Kelley Blue Book report.
Ford estimates that since the new Hybrid Police Interceptor can run on electric power, allowing the gasoline engine to shut down, it can save 1,300 gallons of gas per year over a police vehicle that needs to idle during stops. At the same time its returning fuel savings, the Police Interceptor Explorer Hybrid is said to offer surprising performance. This is what leads Ford to claim its new hybrid models offer “no compromise.”
On the smaller end of the scale, the all-new Ford Escape will go on sale this fall. It, too, will be offered in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models. It debuts another new iteration of Ford hybrid tech, Gen IV. Offered with or without all-wheel drive, the Escape Hybrid is expected to return fuel economy numbers in the mid-30s while also churning out 200 net horsepower. The Escape PHEV will have 30 miles of all-electric range.
In 2020, Ford will release its F-150 Hybrid. Followed eventually by the pure-electric F-150, which has been promised. However, no timeframe has yet been announced. With a hybrid pickup under its belt and an EV on the way, it won’t likely be long until Ford throws those electrically assisted powertrains into the Expedition, too.
Let’s not forget that Ford also recently invested $500 million in pure-electric vehicle startup Rivian, which will develop a version of its flexible skateboard platform. With that, Ford is expected to invent new all-electric truck and SUV models — ones that Rivian is confident won’t compete with its own products due to distinct marketing efforts.
Frankly, it’s a bit of an additional gamble for Ford to not only give up on cars but also then invest in spreading electrified powertrains across its entire lineup. Right now, gasoline is incredibly cheap for most Americans. Certainly, that won’t continue forever. Once fuel prices climb, buyers will gravitate toward more expensive but more fuel-efficient electrified powertrains. The looming question, however, is: How long will that take — and when?
Can Ford afford to float $11 billion if it takes a decade to see meaningful profits from that investment? Given the fact that it just slashed 7,000 jobs and analysts expect it needs to axe 15,000 more workers from its payroll in order to stay financially viable, it’s not clear if pushing electrification technology across every single vehicle is a wise move … yet. I mean, it certainly is the place where the company will need to be in a decade. However, it might have been penny wise but pound foolish to push for it now.