Ford is taking the electrification of its lineup seriously with the creation of a new position called the Director of Global Electrification. Nancy Gioia, formerly Ford’s director of sustainable mobility technology and hybrid vehicle programs for North America, will be the first person to take the new position.
In her newjob, Gioia will be responsible for all parts of Ford’s electric vehicle program. She will take on product planning, supplier partnerships, and collaboration with the government and various partners in the energy industry. Ford announced its intent to build three types of electrified vehicles: hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and pure battery electric vehicles.
“Ford is strongly positioned to accelerate its electric vehicle strategy thanks in part to the significant research we’ve already completed,” said Ford Vice President of Power Train Engineering Barb Smardzich. “Nancy’s unique background and experience in leading the hybrid technology and electric vehicle product teams position her well to coordinate our electric efforts across product development, sustainability, and government affairs as we move to the next frontier of this new form of transportation.”
Ford’s electrification plan is certainly ambitious. The company plans to have two pure electric vehicles for sale by 2011, a Transit Connect commercial van by 2010 and a Focus passenger car by 2011. In addition, the company already has the 2010 Fusion Hybrid on sale, which is arguably the best mid-size hybrid currently on the market. Future product plans include a plug-in hybrid for 2012 as well as a next-generation hybrid vehicle due in 2012.
While Ford’s future product plan seems ambitious, testing and development of the vehicles is already underway. One such visible test vehicle can be seen on the Jay Leno Show on the Green Car segment –the battery electric European Ford Focus RS. Less visible to mainstream consumers are the fleets of European Focus-based BEV test vehicles running around in Europe and the U.S. An exciting prospect with the launch of the electric Focus is the combining of Ford’s C-sized platform, meaning we’ll finally get the European Focus in 2011.