Ford will invest an additional $4.5bn in electrified vehicle solutions by 2020, as well as changing how the company develops vehicle experiences for customers.
Ford intends to add 13 new electrified vehicles to its portfolio by 2020, when more than 40% of the company’s global nameplates will come in electrified versions.
This represents Ford’s largest-ever electrified vehicle investment in a five-year period.
On the way next year is a new Focus Electric, which features all-new DC fast-charge capability delivering an 80% charge in an estimated 30 minutes and a projected 100-mile range – an estimated two hours faster than today’s Focus Electric.
The new Focus Electric, which starts production late next year, also will provide North American and European customers with a ‘Brake Coach’.
The feature will teach a driver how to use smooth braking to maximize the energy captured through the the vehicles Regenerative Braking System. The more energy a driver captures through braking, the more energy is returned to the vehicle’s battery
In addition to technological development, Ford is investing in social science-based research globally, observing how consumers interact with vehicles and gaining new insights into the cognitive, social, cultural, technological and economic nuances that affect product design.
“The challenge going forward isn’t who provides the most technology in a vehicle but who best organizes that technology in a way that most excites and delights people,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president, Product Development. “By observing consumers, we can better understand which features and strengths users truly use and value and create even better experiences for them going forward.”
“This new way of working brings together marketing, research, engineering and design in a new way to create meaningful user experiences, rather than individually developing technologies and features that need to be integrated into a final product,” Nair said.
“We are using new insights from anthropologists, sociologists, economists, journalists and designers, along with traditional business techniques, to reimagine our product development process, create new experiences and make life better for millions of people.”
Next year, Ford is doubling the number of projects that use ethnographic research versus this year.