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The 2012 Ford Focus PHEV will be Ford's first plug-in electric.  (Source: Ford via Autoblog)

Ford is focusing on the C platform that the Focus is a member of, as it comprised nearly half the company's sales last year.  (Source: AutoBlog)
Numbers include hybrid vehicles, represent ambitious commitment from Ford

General Motors and Nissan may have a year head start on Ford Motor Company with their 2011 Chevy Volt and 2011 Nissan Leaf electric vehicles, but Ford has some big EV plans of its own.  

As it prepares to launch its first full mass-market EV next year -- a plug-in Ford Focus -- Ford has its eyes set on a large-scale rollout.  By 2015, Ford hopes to have "electrified" vehicles -- hybrids (HEV), plug-in hybrids (PHEV), and battery-electric vehicles (BEV; aka "all electric" vehicles) -- make up 2-5 percent of its total sales.  This is an ambitious but seemingly achievable goal -- the company currently has about 1 percent of its sales consist of electrified vehicles (hybrids).

The company's target for 2020 is much bolder; it say that it wants to boost this number to 10 to 25 percent.  It plans on roughly 70 percent of those being hybrids, with the remainder being plug-in electrics and fuel cell vehicles.

Key to these efforts is to perfect hybrid, pure electric, and fuel cell systems for the C platform.  This platform is Ford's largest, selling approximately 2 million of the 4.817 million units that Ford sold last year.  Ford has over 12 different body styles -- including the Focus, Transit Connect, C-Max, S-Max, and others -- which serve as "hats" to the underlying C platform.

Ford's director of global electrification, Nancy Gioia states, "During this volatile period, by utilizing our highest volume platforms, by having common parts between hybrids and plug in hybrids we are doing the most to make this as affordable as possible during a very dynamic time."

This approach not only saves Ford money in production costs, but it should also help the company obtain its electric vision.  Ford will need those savings -- it plans on complete four generations worth of batteries within the next ten years. 

Gioia says that Ford is incredible committed and focused on its electric efforts.  She comments, "There must be a national and actually global constancy of purpose on this journey. We are on a marathon, a 50-year journey, we are not on a 3-5 year journey. This takes an enormous amount of staying power."



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