The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that Ford has been approved for a $5.9 billion government loan to develop fuel-saving technologies that will reduce the nation's dependency on foreign oil. Ford, which is the only American automaker not to receive emergency federal aid, said that it intends to apply the loans on a variety of fuel-saving technologies.
These include the development of hybrid-electric systems, alternative-fuel power plants, direct-injection engines as well as new dual clutch transmissions, aerodynamic improvements and weight reduction measures through platform efficiencies and greater use of aluminum, magnesium and high-strength steel.
Ford also outlined its electric and hybrid car strategy that accelerates with the introduction of a pure battery electric (BEV) Transit Connect commercial van in 2010 and a BEV Focus in 2011, as well as a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) and next-generation hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) by 2012.
Both the electric Transit Connect, which Ford is developing with Smith Electric U.S and the electric Focus that will be produced in collaboration with Magna at the Michigan Assembly Plan, are expected to have a range of up to 100 miles or 160 kilometers.
"This green partnership between Ford and the U.S. government will help accelerate the development of advanced technologies for even better fuel efficiency and emissions," said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. "Ford is absolutely committed to fuel economy leadership with every new model we introduce. In fact, we plan to invest nearly $14 billion in advanced technology vehicles in the next seven years."
"Our partnership with the Department of Energy also will help retool our U.S. plants more quickly to produce fuel efficient vehicles and help meet the new, rigorous fuel-economy requirements," Mulally concluded.