Ford will launch a plug-in hybrid version of its Transit Custom as part of a global strategy to introduce 13 electrified vehicles within the next five years.
The car maker is investing £570 million and adding 700 new jobs in its Flat Rock, Michigan, assembly plant to create a factory capable of producing high-tech electrified and autonomous vehicles.
Testing of the Transit Custom plug-in hybrid in Europe will commence later this year, along with a new set of mobility services, telematics and connectivity solutions. The new model is expected to go on sale in 2019.
A fully electric SUV, hybrid F-150 pickup and hybrid Mustang will also be developed as part of a £3.7 billion investment in electrification by 2020.
“As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people’s lives better,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and chief exectutive.
“Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”
Ford is focusing its EV plan on its areas of strength – electrifying its most popular, high-volume commercial vehicles, trucks, SUVs and performance vehicles to make them even more capable, productive and fun to drive.
The seven global electrified vehicles announced today include:
- An all-new fully electric small SUV, coming by 2020, engineered to deliver an estimated range of at least 300 miles, to be sold in North America, Europe and Asia
- A Transit Custom plug-in hybrid available in 2019 in Europe
- A high-volume autonomous vehicle designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing
- A hybrid version of the F-150 pickup available by 2020 and sold in North America and the Middle East
- A hybrid version of the Mustang that will deliver V8 power and even more low-end torque
- Two new pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles
In addition, in New York and several major US cities, Ford is testing a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi and van prototypes in some of the world’s most demanding traffic conditions.