Ford souping up its electric car lineup

Ford says its first hybrid police cruiser can achieve speeds of over 100 MPH while getting gas mileage of 38 MPG.

  

Ford

Even if the Trump administration eases U.S. gas mileage rules, Ford Motor Co. (F) is pushing ahead with its plans to develop new hybrid and electric vehicles.

“We have committed to future power trains, and this will change very little with a change in rules,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president for the Americas, in announcing plans for the automaker to spend $4.5 billion to introduce 13 new electric and hybrid vehicles globally within the next five years. These will include hybrid versions of popular Ford models such as the Mustang and F-150 pickup. 

“In the long term, the trend will continue to be toward lower emissions and more electrified vehicles,” Hinrichs said at a media event just before the kickoff of the New York Auto Show (which is open to the public April 14-23).

Hinrichs also introduced the industry’s first “pursuit-rated” hybrid police cruiser (pictured above). Able to achieve speeds of over 100 MPH, the vehicle activates both electric and gasoline motors once it senses that the driver is putting the pedal to the metal. The hybrid police cruiser has an estimated combined gas mileage of 38 MPG, or more than twice the current all-gasoline version.

Looking beyond the police market, a poll sponsored by Ford shows that 50 percent of millennials say they are interested in buying an electric car, partly out of a concern about air pollution. The company predicts that within 15 years, the global auto industry will offer more hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles than they will choices of gasoline-powered cars.

Hinrichs cited these other guideposts on the way to Ford’s electrified future, all coming by 2020:

  • A new all-electric SUV, with a planned range of over 300 miles on a single charge, to be sold in the U.S., in Europe and Asia
  • A hybrid version of its F-150 pickup, which can also act as a mobile generator to power a job site
  • A hybrid Mustang, which will deliver even more tire-squealing low-end torque than the current V-8 gasoline version
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    Jerry Edgerton, author of Car Shopping Made Easy, has been covering the car beat since Detroit companies dominated the U.S. market. The former car columnist for Money magazine and Washington correspondent for Business Week, Edgerton specializes in finding the best deals on wheels and offering advice on making your car last.