Ford, one the biggest U.S. automaker, has committed an investment of 1,000 million dollars (1 billion) for the production of hybrid and plug-in electric cars, as well as for building the plant that will produce the batteries for these vehicles, said the company.
The U.S. firm said that this investment is part of the strategy that is being aimed to reduce the environmental impact of their cars, and likewise reducing the fuel consumption of its engines. They also will produce new gearboxes and better efficient technologies.
Ford said that by the end of this year they will start selling the electric version of its Transit Connect model, and for 2011 is predicted they are going to hit the market with the Ford Focus electric. Also, the firm will launch a conventional hybrid and a plug-in hybrid developed on the C platform of the group.
In addition, Ford plans to move the production of the batteries for the electric cars from Mexico to Michigan, to support the manufacturing of electric and hybrid cars in the country.
At the same time, the company is working to improve the efficiency of its combustion engines. The result of this work is the EcoBoost technology, which reduces the cars fuel consumption and emissions. Ford will introduce three new engines with this technology in late 2010.
The second engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder of gasoline and also they will be working in the next generation of the Ford Explorer and Ford Edge models. While the last of these engines have 3.5-liter V6 that will be working in the Ford F-150 model. In addition, the company also works in other fields to reduce the consumption and emissions of their cars. Thus, the brand is introducing six-speed gearboxes, that by 2012, will be available in 98% of its vehicles in North America. Ford is also introducing the system 'Start & Stop' on its models, with the aim that by 2014, 20% of its vehicles around the world are equipped with this device, which enables fuel savings of 5%.