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Ford Anticipates 10-25% Of Its Global Fleet to Be Electrified by 2020

Ford anticipates that electrified vehicles—hybrids (HEV), plug-in hybrids (PHEV), and battery-electric vehicles (BEV)—will represent 2-5% of its global fleet by 2015, and then increase rapidly to 10-25% of its global fleet by 2020, said Nancy Gioia, Ford’s Director of Global Electrification, in several talks at Plug-in 2010 in San Jose, California this week. Currently (2010), electrified products (only hybrids at this point) represent 1% of Ford’s global fleet.

Ford anticipates that hybrids will represent about 70% of the 2020 numbers, with plug-in hybrids contributing 20-25% and battery-electric vehicles the remainder, she said. All of that is highly dependent on fuel prices, policies, and customer value propositions, she noted.

In 2009, Ford sold 4.817 million units worldwide, down from 5.532 million in 2008.

We have now embedded electrification...including hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles, any vehicle where electricity directly displaces oil or a liquid one of the current and future technologies as a core part of our product portfolio, our capital allocation process, our vehicle platform design and manufacturing processes. This is important.

This is strategic. This is not just an image vehicle, or an image technology. It’s not a science experiment. It is embedded into the fabric of our company, along with other technologies...Long term we see electrification as part of the fuel diversity plan going forward.

—Nancy Gioia

Moving forward, Ford is electrifying its highest volume global platform (the C platform, rather than using unique platforms. With 12 different top hats (e.g., Focus, Transit Connect, C-Max, S-Max), the C-sized platform represents more than 2 million units a year. By electrifying that platform and building the vehicles down the same assembly lines with a minimal number of stations changing, Ford has an opportunity during a very volatile period, Gioia said.

To support a mass market for electrified vehicles, Gioia said, requires:

  • Great features and functional, trustworthy technology—i.e., reliable, durable and safe.
  • Access to the fuel.
  • Meeting the transportation need.
  • Affordability.

If you hold a BEV at a constant range of 100 miles, over time the cost of the battery pack comes down, she noted, and begins to converge to equal the replacement cost of the powerpack of a plug-in. However, she noted, that assumes that a 100-mile range is acceptable to the customers. Reinventing in the BEV for a larger range may change the equation, she said.

Ford’s approach with its plug-in hybrid is to use the parallel power split architecture of its standard hybrids. This enables Ford to use identical parts such as traction motors, and power electronics between HEVs and PHEVs. The PHEVs share 85% of the components of the HEV system, with the notable exceptions being the battery pack, charger and wiring, and electric pumps and cooling circuits, resulting in significant economies of scale.

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.

—Nancy Gioia

Battery technology is clearly key to cost improvement, she said, noting that Ford expects there to be four cycles of battery chemistry improvement over the next 10 years.

At the end of the day, the clarity of communication to the consumer is going to be very important. And so while we have to compete, we also have to compete with some level of consistency of communication, because it is going to be a bit of a confusing environment moving forward. I think we are going to have a very short honeymoon period...there are so many entries, so many things. If we can’t help the consumers with clear communication and understanding, I fear that we may damage the reputation of the technology.

...We must have a constancy of purpose. Changing the fuel source and changing the energy paradigm is not something we can switch back and forth every two, three or four years based on election periods. 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.

—Nancy Gioia



Ford's estimates are more encouraging than other sources. With more manufacturers with Ford's determination, the world will transition faster from current liquid fuel guzzlersw to cleaner electrified vehicles.

Now, if only the world could mass produce better batteries (600 Wh/Kg or more) at lower cost ($200/Kwh or less) by 2020, Ford's forecast could come true sooner.


Harvey before you get excited... doing the math that results in a bev fleet of 1-2.5% in 10 years.

Lowell Greene

It amazes me that the production of electricity is almost always left out of this conversation. We can do better!



If the fishes had wings they would fly...but they don't so why speculate on it ?

Bob Wallace

DOE projects that a 100 mile range battery will drop in price to $5,000 by 2021 and to ~$3,300 by 2030.

Weight will drop from 333Kg to 222Kg by 2015 and to 55Kg somewhere between 2020 and 2030.

Battery life should increase to 14 years by 2015 (based on 1.5x charges per week).


Unless ranges for EVs increase, people who use their cars, as they should be used, for long distances will rely on petrol / diesel for the longer ranges they offer.

EV ranges are too limited except for commutes, but is that the sort of driving that should be encouraged, especially for journeys that can be made on foot, bike or bus?

In any event, EVs will be the second car, whilst the main 'wagon' for the roadtrip will run on liquid fuels.
Liquid fuels may come from fossil fuels for now but in future, they will come also from recycled CO2, and biofuels. There will also be more hybrids when the technology matures and is adopted by more manufacturers.


Bob, the DOE has not got a clue. My guess is that they are heavily influenced by US wannabee battery makers, trying to get subsidies to develop their technology, which is years behind the Koreans.
SK Energy, supplier to Hyundai, is doing pack right now which get 5,000 cycles down to 85%.

Renault prefers to lease rather than sell batteries, so their pack for 100 mile nominal range is likely to be leased for 100 Euros/month, around $120.
Doing the sums and writing it off after 5 years, normal for leasing, you come out to around $7200 for the pack.
The DOE is giving $5k in 11 years time!


Ford are trying to just slam batteries into existing bodies, so they hope that the compactness of batteries will decrease enough so that they can put them in instead of a petrol tank in a few years, and people will still stick to 100 miles!
The used the Focus as the basis for their EV, and simply took the boot for batteries!
Who is going to buy this bodge instead of a Leaf?
They could have used the C-Max on the same chassis as the basis and actually built a decent car.

The point they make about the need to reduce costs is fair enough, and I can't see the battery most folk buy as getting to 400 mile range.
I do think that it will grow a bit from present levels though.
The Leaf uses a 24 kwh battery, and gets a nominal 100 miles, which can be up to 138 miles at a steady 40 mph or some such, or down to 47 miles on a hot day in heavy traffic with the air con on full.
The Leaf batteries will also be down to around 80% of capacity after 100k miles, so the range further reduces.

My guess is that the life of batteries will be greatly increased, as we already know how to do that - see the SK energy batteries - which will take care of range reduction with time, whilst the pack might increase to around 35kwh, so giving a much more genuine 100 miles.

If you only use it for long trips, a cheap ICE car kept in the garage and only rarely used is not expensive.

The other direction which might prove popular is cheaper hybrids.
Peugeot/Citroen are going for the hybid 4 system, which is radically simpler than the Prius-type configuration, as it uses and ICE to drive the front wheels and a small electric motor for the rear, throwing in 4 wheel drive without a transmission tunnel as a free bonus.
SK Energy can do a battery pack for this sort of configuration right now, with the 7.9kwh pack only occupying 2.3cu ft and providing 20 miles of electric only driving, whilst providing assist to the ICE so that the engine can be smaller and more fuel efficient as it is aided in acceleration.


This is the bit that interests me:

"Ford expects there to be four cycles of battery chemistry improvement over the next 10 years."

What are they aware of that we aren't? How big will each jump be every 2.5 years?


I once thought 100 mile EVs were too limited and that less expensive EREVs would dominate. GM's $41k price tag for the Volt changed my mind. I now see BEVs such as Nissan's $33k LEAF as the best solution, especially once they hit critical mass and range-extending trailer rentals pop up on the outskirts of every city:



I agree. People may see that 100 miles works just fine and if the price as right, it is a deal. If they use batteries that can be quick charged, charging stations will come along and people may wonder why we did not do this long ago.


We can hope that these figures are pessimistic.

Even if they aren't, there are other factors to consider.

  1. Electrification isn't the only thing happening; downsizing and Ecoboost run in parallel.
  2. Consumers will probably select the most efficient vehicles for applications with the most mileage.
  3. New vehicles are used much more heavily than older ones; roughly half of lifetime mileage is driven in the first 6 years.
The most heavily-used (daily city routes, 30-50 miles) vehicles will make a disproportionate difference in total fuel requirements.


EP has it right, we are tackling this on many fronts. It makes sense to go for the heavy users, 1 million big rigs and millions of commuters.


Is the Volt a step backward from the older EV-1 with regards to aerodynamic, weight and rolling resistance? If so, why did GM go backward?

By 2020, many car manufacturers will mass produce lighter weight, superior aerodynamic e-vehicles. Coupled with improved lower cost batteries and drive trains, BEVs will go 350+ miles (500+ Km) between quick charges.

Interesting 10+ years ahead.

Is the Volt a step backward from the older EV-1 with regards to aerodynamic, weight and rolling resistance? If so, why did GM go backward?
Being able to seat more than 2 seems a reasonable tradeoff for aerodynamics, and avoiding exotic materials like carbon fiber does wonders for affordability.

Todays exotic materials may be tomorrows common materials. It happened many times before. The world went from wooden to steel vehicles and may very well go from steel to fibers by 2030/2050. Its not always a question of cost. Wooden bodies were cheap than steel versions but the switch took place because steel was easier to stamp, machine and more rugged. It was good publicity and sales went up.

Common sense will eventually prevail and the majority will be using under one-tonne e-vehicles sooner than we think. Going from 2 to 4 or 5 seats should not add that much weight.


Status quo takes on many forms. When the economy is doing well and oil is cheap, why change? When we need innovation and oil prices are rising, no one has the money to change. This is why we need a managed economy, so that we have counter balances that don't get us stuck when we need to move.


In a fluid technology state such as currently exists
in the all-important battery space, any estimates of future production rates are totally ridiculous. Ford probably issed their silly estimate motivated by something other than a search for answers. If you don't know what the future will look like, just exactly how do you justify making plans for same? Apparently Ford is taking its cue from our brailess administration and
speaking in Pollyanniac terms.

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