From Model T to EV

Ford makes $11B commitment to electric market

The automaker synonymous with the assembly line can now be added to the list of those committing to a much different vehicle for the future.

Ford Motor Co. president of global markets Jim Farley announced at the Detroit auto show the company plans to invest $11 billion in the next four years to bolster its presence in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle sector. The game plan calls for about 40 new electrified models by 2022.

This more than doubles Ford’s current spending on electric vehicles, which was previously about $4.5 slated through the end of the decade, the company had announced in 2015.

“This $11 billion you’re seeing, that means we’re all in now,” Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, told the Associated Press at the Detroit Auto Show following the announcement, adding that “the only question” was whether customers would follow, “and we think they will.”

According to a majority of projections for the EV market over the next five to ten years, the assumption is a fair bet. Bloomberg New Energy Finance recently bumped up its estimate of the EV market share in 2040 from 35 per cent of all new car sales to 54 percentRethinkX, an independent think tank, is even more bullish, saying most U.S. vehicles will be electric by 2030 —just 12 years from now.

In other EV news, Pacific Gas & Electric, the California-based utility, launched its electric vehicle charging program Wednesday. EV Charge Network, the pilot program, will begin installation of 7,500 Level 2 chargers and a budget of $130 million, according to Greentech Media. The utility will pay for all of the infrastructure costs, “from the transformer to the parking space,” according to spokesperson Ari Vanrenen.

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