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Ford Motor will launch 15 electrified vehicle models in China by 2025, as it eyes sales of “hundreds of thousands” of EVs in the world’s largest car market where the government is pushing the technology.
The 15 models to be sold under the Ford and Lincoln marques will be among 50 new models the US carmaker will launch in China by that date, said Peter Fleet, Ford’s head of Asia-Pacific.
He did not provide details on most of the models, although the first will be a Mondeo hybrid electric car to go on sale next year.
“We are going to have a rolling news programme of launching electrified vehicles in China,” Mr Fleet said. “Clearly with this kind of product onslaught, the number of electrified vehicles we expect to be selling in China very soon is in the hundreds of thousands.”
Sales of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles in the country grew 53 per cent in 2016 to 507,000, due in part to subsidies of up to $15,000 per vehicle. Ford estimates 6m EVs will be sold annually in China by 2025.
Ford is later than US rival General Motors to the electric car race, with GM already selling a long-range family car, the Chevrolet Bolt, in the US.
The company replaced chief executive Mark Fields this year with Jim Hackett, the boss of Ford’s future technology business.
Ford says it wants 70 per cent of the cars it sells in China to be electric or hybrid by 2025 and last month announced a $756m 50-50 EV joint venture with China’s Anhui Zotye Automobile.
Beijing has pressured automakers into ramping up EV production in September when it announced a system of steadily increasing quotas that will reward carmakers for producing more battery-powered vehicles starting in 2019, while forcing them to buy EV “credits” from other producers for every conventional car they make.
Carmakers have responded by announcing ambitious China EV plans. Volkswagen said last month it would invest €10bn to develop new-energy vehicles in China by 2025. In August, Renault and Nissan joined longtime partner Dongfeng Motor to form a new electric vehicle joint venture.
Electric vehicle sales in China have moderated this year as subsidies have declined. But Mr Fleet said he expected continued policy support.
“(China’s government) have a clear stated intent that they want to become winners in this technology of electrified vehicles. I buy that China is going to be very big on electrified vehicles and I expect Ford to play a big part in that,” he said.
He added: “Don’t overlook the customer. The Chinese customer has a propensity to take up new technologies,” he said, adding EVs were perceived as having benefits such as being more quiet and feeling more responsive to drive.