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Ford has announced it will invest $4.5 billion to expand its fleet of plug-in and hybrid electric cars, and will start selling 13 new electric models by 2020.

That will include a new Ford Focus that charges more quickly and has a longer range, the car giant said.

Ford also intends to move into the commercial ride-hailing market occupied by companies such as Uber and Lyft.

The market is worth $5 trillion, Ford said.

The initiatives are part of a broader effort by CEO Mark Fields to counter companies offering alternatives to car ownership and regulators who want vehicles to emit less carbon dioxide.

Mark Fields said the company wants 40% of its vehicles to have electric versions by 2020, up from 13% now.

The new Focus will take an 80% charge in 30 minutes, about two hours faster than the current version, the automaker said. It will also have an estimated 100-mile range, as opposed to 76 miles.

Photo Ford

Photo Ford

Ford also plans to introduce a Mondeo hybrid and a C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid in China next year.

The company currently sells electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of its Focus, Fusion, C-Max and Lincoln MKZ cars.

Ford also wants to expand an employee van-hailing service beyond its sprawling corporate campus, and develop it commercially.

“The market for vehicle miles travelled is $5 trillion,” Mark Fields said.

“We get zero of that.”

Ken Washington, Ford’s vice president of research, said: “Our vision is to be a mobility service provider, beyond building a vehicle that would be in somebody else’s fleet. We see this as a business we want to be in.”


Toyota has announced it is planning to all but eliminate carbon emissions from its production processes by 2050.

The target is one of several set by Japanese automaker, which also pledged to sell 1.5 million hybrid cars a year by 2020.

Toyota said it will increase the use of renewable energy and hydrogen-based production methods at its factories.

Separately it said it plans to sell more than 30,000 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles around or shortly after 2020.Toyota carbon emissions

Unveiling new environmental targets Toyota confirmed that its new Prius hybrid would be a fifth more fuel-efficient than its predecessor as the car manufacturer hopes to boost flagging sales of the environmentally friendly model amid a slump in global oil prices.

Toyota said it planned to reduce average emissions from its cars by 90% by 2050 compared with 2010 levels.

However, Toyota’s plans did not include any commitment to manufacturing electric cars.

The strategy outlined on October 14 came as Volkswagen said it would cut investment at its biggest division by €1 billion a year from 2019 and increase development of electric vehicles.

VW said on October 13 it would speed up cost cutting at its VW division and put only the latest and “best environmental technology” in diesel vehicles.

VW is facing the biggest crisis in its 78-year history after admitting last month it installed software in diesel vehicles that could deceive US environmental regulators about the true level of their toxic emissions.