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Ford Teases 2017 Fusion

Updated sedan set for Detroit Auto Show debut to include plug-in Energi model.

by on Dec.11, 2015

Ford isn't expected to make many major changes to the updated 2017 Fusion.

Ford set automotive design on its head when it launched the current Fusion sedan four years ago. How do you follow up on such a big hit? We’ll find out when the 2017 version of the sedan makes its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

Ford teased the new model during a media briefing on Thursday, a draped sedan marked with a sign declaring, “Top Secret: Do not move until 01.11.2016.” Based on some recent spy shots, the 2017 Ford Fusion is expected to undergo relatively modest design tweaks. The biggest news is expected to be found under the hood in the form of an updated plug-in hybrid drive.

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The next-gen Ford Fusion Energi model is part of an aggressive push by the maker that will see it invest $4.5 billion in “electrified” vehicles between now and 2020. Ford’s list of hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, will grow by 13 nameplates. It currently offers six battery-based vehicles.


Ford to Invest $4.5 Bil in New Electrified Products

By 2020, 40% of its nameplates will be offered with battery-based options.

by on Dec.10, 2015

"More than 40% of our nameplates will be electrified," announced Ford CEO Mark Fields.

Ford Motor plans to invest $4.5 billion to add an array of new hybrids, plug-ins and battery-electric vehicles to its line-up by the end of the decade, CEO Mark Fields announced on Thursday.

The maker plans not only to add more battery-based vehicles but also to expand where it will offer those models, with two new produced, the plug-in C-Max Energi and the Mondeo Hybrid, entering the Chinese market in the coming months.

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By the end of the decade, said Fields, “More than 40% of our nameplates will be electrified,” up from 13% today, and the list will include “a full range” of the maker’s products, not just a limited selection like today. Where there are six battery-based products today, Ford will add 13 more by 2020.


Ford Offers Competitors Access to EV Patents

Detroit maker hiring 200 new engineers for battery-car efforts.

by on May.28, 2015

Ford's C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid is one of the maker's six electrified vehicles.

Ford is opening up its portfolio of patents and offering competitors access to those covering electric vehicle technologies. Just last year, Ford filed for 2,000 patents in the U.S., of which 400, or more than 20%, were related to EVs.

The move comes a year after CEO Elon Musk offered access to the patent portfolio of battery-carmaker Tesla Motors. Unlike the California start-up, Ford isn’t providing its intellectual property rights for free. But Ford’s move isn’t simply to get the licensing fees.

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“Innovation is our goal,” explained Kevin Layden, director, Ford Electrification Programs, in a news release. “The way to provide the best technology is through constant development and progress. By sharing our research with other companies, we will accelerate the growth of electrified vehicle technology and deliver even better products to customers.”


Ford Offering Solar Charger for Focus Electric

Getting off the grid won’t come cheap.

by on Aug.18, 2011

Ford will let California buyers of the Focus Electric charge up using solar power.

Those looking to buy the new Ford Focus Electric, when it begins a slow roll-out later this year, will have a chance to go even greener by adding an optional solar charging system, the carmaker says.

Ford is partnering with Silicon Valley’s largest supplier of solar power arrays, SunPower Corp., to provide a 2.5 kilowatt rooftop charging system that could replenish a drained lithium-ion battery pack in about 10 hours.

Skeptics have often complained that battery cars aren’t as clean as proponents claim, since they still have to get their power from utilities that might use coal or other fossil fuels.  The news means dedicated greenies can disconnect from the grid entirely – at least when it comes to charging up the Ford Focus Electric, which will yield more than 80 miles per charge.

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But cutting the electric company out of the picture won’t come cheap.  While Ford and SunPower are offering a deep discount of more than 40% off the normal price tag, the rooftop system will still cost $10,000 after receiving a federal tax credit.

Were a motorist to need to fully charge a Focus Electric from the grid each day it would cost about $10 a week, so the payback period for the SunPower system would be about 20 years.


Quantum Launches Plug-In F150

A big green pickup?

by on May.06, 2011

Quantum is launching a plug-in conversion of the Ford F150 that will get 35 miles on battery power.

Who says big can’t also be green?  A new plug-in hybrid Version of the Ford F150 Pickup Truck might argue otherwise.

The truck is the work of Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc., the company that is also providing a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the new Fisker Karma, which comes to market later this year.

“We believe this vehicle fills an important niche for fleet customers desiring a largely electric pick-up truck with extended range capability,” said Alan Niedzwiecki, CEO Quantum Technologies.

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Quantum’s plug-in hybrid version of the F150 isn’t targeting the average personal use or small business customer, but rather aims at demanding large fleet operators. The vehicle will be capable of matching the performance of the conventional F150 vehicle while achieving substantially higher fuel economy and producing lower emissions, Niedzwiecki said.


First Look: 2012 Ford Focus Electric

Detroit maker begins push to electrify its line-up.

by on Jan.07, 2011

Ford shows off the new Focus Electric battery car during a CES preview.

This is the year of the electric vehicle, or so proponents would like to believe, as a wave of battery cars make their debut and the first actually roll into showrooms.  Following last month’s debut of the low-volume Transit Connect Electric delivery van, Ford Motor Co. is rolling out what it hopes will be a more mainstream offering: a battery-powered version of its newly-redesigned compact hatchback, dubbed the Ford Focus Electric.

With an estimated range of 100 miles per charge, Ford’s offering won’t reach market until 2012, well behind the introductions of the Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.  But what the Focus Electric loses by not having first-mover advantage Ford is hoping to more than make up for by offering a wealth of features on its first battery-based passenger car.

The Ford Focus Electric is visually similar to the gas-powered compact, which is offered in both sedan and hatchback configurations.  But there will be a number of changes designed to improve its efficiency, critical when trying to maximize battery power.  That includes a revised grille, an enclosed underbody and special wheels meant to improve aerodynamics, as well as low rolling-resistance tires.

Meanwhile, an LED “light ring” will surround the electric charger port – repurposed from the fuel filler door on a conventional Focus.  Soft blue lights will flash to indicate the Focus Electric is charging and then to signal the battery has been topped off.