Ford has managed to quadruple its share of the electric vehicle segment, and has announced its plan to improve the on-road fuel economy performance of its entire line of hybrid vehicles. Ford is planning to bring on new engineers to expand its research facilities for continued growth.
With the introduction of the Ford C-Max, the automaker’s share in the market is up 12 points, giving Ford 16 percent of the market share, while Toyota is down eight points. Many customers have been trading in their Prius vehicle for the new vehicles coming from Ford, including the C-Max hybrid.
“Strong customer acceptance of Ford hybrids shows that our plan to lead in fuel economy across our lineup is working. Our commitment to deliver great fuel economy in our cars, utilities and trucks is a key reason we are seeing strong growth in coastal markets and with import buyers,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development, in a recent interview.
Along with the hiring of new engineers to further the hybrid and electric vehicle research, Ford will perform calibration updates to its electric vehicles for different driving conditions on the highway during short trips while using climate controls. Some enhancements will include an increase in maximum electric speed from 62 mph to 85 mph, optimizing the use of Active Grille Shutters, shorter engine warm-up time, and optimizing the climate control system.
Ford has invested an additional $50 million in electrified product development and testing centers in Dearborn, and hopes to double its electrification battery-testing capabilities by the end of the year. Raj Nair went on to say that, “This investment in new engineers and expanded facilities helps us prepare for growth. All of us at Ford remain absolutely committed to offering customers a choice of leading fuel-efficient vehicles–from EcoBoost-powered gasoline engines and hybrids to plug-in hybrids and electrified vehicles.”