With its first battery-electric vehicle set to go into production later this year, Ford Motor Co. is announcing big steps to move its “electrification’ program forward, including a $135 million investment and the creation of 220 new jobs.
Michigan will become its new “center of excellence” for the design, engineering and production of future battery-based vehicles, Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas, announced from the maker’s Rawsonville (Michigan) Assembly Plant, a facility that will produce a battery-electric version of the new Focus model.
Meanwhile, production of hybrid battery packs will now be moved from Mexico to the Detroit area.
“Electrified vehicles are a key part of our plan to offer a full lineup of green vehicles, and we are building a center of excellence in the U.S., here in Michigan, to keep Ford on the cutting edge,” said Fields. “Today’s announcement is another important step in our larger strategy to launch a family of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles around the world.”
Along with conventional hybrid-electric vehicles, such as the Fusion Hybrid – which was named North American Car of the Year, last January – Ford plans to launch two models that will run solely on battery power: the Focus Electric and the Transit Connect Electric.