Manufacturing News

Ford to introduce EVs, plug-in hybrids in China

Ford Motor Co. will launch a plug-in hybrid in China in 2018 and a fully electric crossover in the next five years as it works toward electrifying most of its lineup in the market by 2025.

The plans come as Beijing presses automakers to sell more electric vehicles, laying out strict fuel economy targets in a bid to cut air pollution.

"The time is right for Ford to expand our EV lineup and investments in China," Ford CEO Mark Fields said in a statement on Thursday.

The automaker, which makes cars in China through a joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., said it plans for 70 percent of Ford brand vehicles sold in China to be conventional hybrids, plug-in hybrids or full battery electric by 2025.

Changan Ford will launch its first locally produced plug-in hybrid, the Mondeo Energi sedan, early next year. Ford also plans to sell an all-new battery-electric small crossover in China within five years.

Ford plans to introduce EVs in China at a time when the central government is preparing to impose a carbon tax that includes EV sales quotas. Starting next year, EVs and plug-in hybrids are supposed to equal 8 percent of each automaker¡¯s sales.

Beijing may ease its timetable in the wake of complaints by German automakers. But the trend is clear: The government wants to create a mass market for EVs.

By 2025, EVs and plug-in hybrids are expected to account for more than 15 percent of total passenger vehicle sales, according to a forecast by the Society of Automotive Engineers of China.

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