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R&D in new green fleet

Ford invests billions in 13 electric vehicles

Ford electric corpFord has made a $4.5 billion investment in electric vehicles as part of a plan to add 13 models to its product line by 2020.

This will means that more than 40% of the firm’s global models will have electrified versions. It currently offers electrified versions of the Fusion, C-Max and Focus.

The 2017 Focus Electric will be offered with a facility allowing drivers to recharge it up to 80% in 30 minutes.

Raj Nair, executive vice president of product development at Ford, said in a statement: “The challenge going forward isn’t who provides the most technology in a vehicle but who best organises that technology in a way that most excites and delights people.”

Kevin Layden, director of Ford electrification programmes, said batteries are the “life force” of any EV and the company will continue to focus on research and development in the area.

“Battery technology has evolved rapidly since we launched our first volume electrified product, the Ford Escape Hybrid, in 2004, and we look forward to developing even better vehicle battery technology for our customers,” he said.

The US manufacturer joins Audi, Porsche and Volvo in its vocal commitment to developing more electrified fleets.

Yet electric vehicle sales have stalled, with November figures showing the worst market share since 2011.

Falling petrol prices and the rising popularity of SUVs means there is little hope for a turnaround in the near future, according to motoring analysts.

However, new environmental protection standards in the US — which require an average fleet fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon — is pushing car makers to invest more in alternative fuel development. The recent diesel emissions scandal has also changed consumers’ priorities.

Electrified vehicles have proven to be one of the more viable options for long-term development.

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