Ford Motor Company says it will begin offering hybrid powertrain options for each new SUV it introduces. Some of those vehicles – the next Escape, next Explorer, and the future Ford Bronco – should come as no surprise, as the automaker already announced them last March. But other vehicles in Ford’s SUV lineup – the EcoSport, Edge, and Expedition, in particular – could receive hybrid power options on the occasion of their next total redesign, or possibly sooner. We also expect Ford’s forthcoming small off-roader, which we’ve been calling “mini-Bronco”, to pack an electrified powertrain option.
About the only future SUV we don’t expect to see with available hybrid power is Ford’s forthcoming performance electric crossover, initially introduced with the name “Mach 1”. That vehicle will offer a battery-electric powertrain only.
In addition to its SUV models, Ford is also working on hybrid versions of the F-150 pickup and Mustang pony car. Ford’s sweeping electrification push will be funded by an $11-billion investment over the next five years, which will produce a total of 40 new electrified vehicles worldwide. The automaker is moving hundreds of electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle business employees – members of Ford’s so-called “Team Edison” – into a new workspace in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.
The new space, which occupies a large part of a 110-year-old former hosiery factory, is the first in an anticipated series of Detroit property acquisitions by the automaker. Currently, Ford is said to be working toward a deal to buy Detroit’s Michigan Central Station – a disused train station just down the street from the factory.
“Moving our teams to Corktown will further enhance our electric and autonomous vehicle development,” says Ford VP of Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification Sherif Marakby. “It gives our teams the workspace they need to promote collaboration and big thinking, and an urban setting that delivers crucial insight for both programs.”