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Car and Driver: Ford Announces $4.5 Billion Investment in “Electrified” Vehicles by 2020

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2017 Ford Focus EV

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You know that thing where people “cut the cord” to get away and relax? Ford is doing the opposite between now and 2020, positively wrapping itself in electrical cordage and dumping $4.5 billion into “electrified” vehicles. The automaker promises the money will go toward battery research and 13 new vehicles over the next five years.

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Details as to which vehicles will count toward Ford’s 13-car claim are forthcoming, but the automaker’s use of the term “electrified” offers a clue that not all of the cars will be fully electric. Instead, we expect Ford’s next wave of hybrids and plug-in hybrids to make up the lion’s share of the 13 cars.

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To wit, Ford’s Fusion sedan is ripe for a refresh—and is expected to debut as a 2017 model at the upcoming Detroit auto show—and it has hybrid and “Energi” plug-in variants. That’s two down. Next up, Europe’s updated C-Max could beget refreshed C-Max hybrid and C-Max Energi plug-in-hybrid models here, too; scratch two more off Ford’s list. Ford itself has announced an updated Ford Focus EV full electric will bow sometime next year with DC fast-charging capability and a 100-mile driving range. As for the other eight cars, Ford could choose to count the freshly updated 2017 Lincoln MKZ hybrid—and even add a plug-in variant—as well as toss the Fusion hybrid’s powertrain into the Escape to match Toyota’s new RAV4 hybrid crossover. Previously third-party up-fitted electrified commercial vehicles (box trucks, etc.) could be brought in-house, too.

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That still leaves room for either a few previously un-hybridized vehicles to join Ford’s electrification party, or perhaps a new full-electric. We do know that Ford is working on a dedicated-hybrid Prius fighter, so knock another car (or two, if a plug-in version is counted separately) off the list. As for the rest, we’ll just have to wait and see.

-ROmpoR7Bdd0

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