Ford is to invest almost £3 billion in the development of a range of new electric vehicles by 2020, with the first to be launched in the UK by the end of 2016.
The company has announced plans to add 13 new electrified models to its product portfolio over the next five years when it hopes more than 40% of its vehicles will be electric.
The first of the new models will be an update of the Ford Focus Electric, which will offer a new DC fast-charge capability allowing it to charge by 80% in around half an hour, enough for a projected 100 mile range. Ford says this is two hours faster than its current Focus Electric model.
Ford says the investment is in response to increasing global trends calling for cleaner, more efficient vehicles and will build on its current offering of electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars. The injection of funds represents the company’s largest electrified vehicle investment in a five-year period.
Ford’s pledge follows the recent announcement by Kia to develop and launch a new range of vehicles using green technologies, ploughing around £6.7 billion into research and development within the same time frame as Ford.