With a $550 million upgrade largely completed, Ford Motor Co.’s Wayne Assembly Plant will become battery central for the automaker, rolling out an assortment of new electric vehicles due to start production next year.
The suburban Detroit facility will be able to produce a mix of battery-based hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, as well as conventional gasoline-powered models, Ford officials revealed Tuesday, during a tour of the assembly plant. Ford is anticipating a sharp increase in demand for “electrified” products, according to Mark Fields, President of Ford of the Americas.
In fact, Ford is markedly more bullish than most of its competitors. Depending on where federal regulators eventually decide to push the nation’s fuel economy standards – and a jump to 62 mpg by 2025 is under serious study – battery power could become critical. At the very least, he said, various forms of hybrids, plug-ins and BEVs should account for a collective 10% of Ford’s fleet by 2020 – at the minimum. And that could jump as high as 25%.