Ford Will Launch 40 Electrified Vehicles by 2022

It's a big increase from Ford's previous goal.

Ford

Ford will launch 40 electrified models by 2022 and invest $11 billion in electrification, chairman Bill Ford said Sunday at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. Of that total, 16 models will be all-electric and the rest will be plug-in hybrids, Ford executives told Reuters.

Both the investment and the number of models represent major increases over Ford's previous electrification goals. The Dearborn automaker previously said it would invest $4.5 billion in electrification and launch 13 electrified models by 2020. Nearly all of the new models mentioned by the company to date have been hybrids, with the sole exception of an all-electric SUV with a 300-mile range. The SUV is expected to be called Mach 1, after the legendary Mustang performance model.

The SUV, and presumably all of Ford's other new electric cars, will be developed by Team Edison, a dedicated electric-car team formed by Ford last year. Thomas Edison was one of Henry Ford's closest friends, so the name is especially appropriate. The team will need to channel some of the Wizard of Menlo Park's genius, as it has a daunting task ahead of it.

Ford will have to build a lineup of electric cars basically from scratch. The only all-electric model currently in its lineup is the Focus Electric, which was never a leader in technology or performance. Unlike rival General Motors, Ford hasn't made much of an effort to develop electric cars until now. The Blue Oval has a lot of catching up to do.

GM plans to launch 20 new all-electric cars by 2023, and many other automakers want to create all-electric or hybrid versions of every model they make. This is largely due to anticipated stricter emissions standards. Several European countries are discussing outright bans on sales of new gasoline and diesel cars. In 2019, China, the world's largest new-car market, will institute sales quotas for electric cars and hybrids. Ford is already teaming up with local automaker Zotye Auto to develop electric cars for the Chinese market.

Automakers will likely continue lavishing resources on electric cars as a means of survival. As long as there are enough batteries to go around, it's probably the best path for the planet.