Ford Motor Co. plans to introduce two electric vehicles in China, with the first coming to market next year.
The automaker announced Thursday it plans to introduce the Mondeo Energi plug-in hybrid sedan in early 2018. It will be built in China through the Changan Ford joint venture.
In addition, Ford will launch an all-electric small SUV in China, North America and Europe within five years. That unnamed vehicle is slated to be built at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant.
“The time is right for Ford to expand our EV lineup and investments in China,” Mark Fields, Ford’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We are prioritizing our electrification efforts on China to reflect its importance as a global electrified vehicle market and to make lives better, simpler and more cost-effective for Chinese consumers.”
The Mondeo Energi will have an electric drive range of up to 31 miles, allowing battery use for city driving and gas for longer trips. Ford said the fully electric SUV will have an estimated drive range of 280 miles.
Ford China in 2016 launched the Mondeo Hybrid version of the sedan.
The announcement comes less than a month after Ford announced its Lincoln brand would partner with Changan to produce an all-new Lincoln SUV in China by 2019. Ford and other U.S. automakers have seen sales grow in China over the past year.
Ford and its joint ventures in 2016 sold a record 1.27 million vehicles in China, though the company’s imported vehicle volume for 2016 was down overall from 2015. Ford recently began exporting the 2017 F-150 Raptor to China, too.
Along with the announcement of two new electric vehicles in China, Ford said it will “offer a comprehensive range of electrified solutions by 2025,” which include hybrids, plug-ins and fully battery-powered vehicles. Ford said by 2025, 70 percent of its nameplates will have electrified powertrain options, which includes those vehicles made through the joint venture.
By 2020, Ford will be manufacturing electrified powertrains in China as well. Thursday’s announcements further Ford’s $4.5 billion, five-year commitment made in 2015 to introduce 13 new global electric vehicles by 2020, seven of which will launch within that time frame.