Ford on Thursday announced plans to introduce its first plug-in hybrid in China next year and vowed to feature a "broad range" of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles in the country by 2025.
Changan Ford, the joint venture between the Michigan automaker and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., will begin producing the Mondeo Energi plug-in hybrid at its Chongqing factory in early 2018.
The vehicle will feature an electric drive for shorter trips — a range of about 30 miles — along with a conventional gasoline engine for longer distances.
“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," Ford CEO Mark Fields said in a statement.
The company also confirmed that a forthcoming fully electric SUV announced in January would be sold in China. The vehicle will feature an estimated range of more than 280 miles.
Ford will also begin manufacturing electrified powertrains in China by 2020 and will expand the capabilities of its Nanjing Research and Engineering Center. Company officials said that China — the world's largest auto market — is increasingly embracing vehicles with alternative power sources in large part due to government support for new technologies.
The automaker plans to spend $4.5 billion on electric vehicles over the next four years and said that 70 percent of its vehicle nameplates would feature electrified powertrain options by 2025.
“Ford is committed to developing smarter, greener mobility solutions for the future, and our team in China will be at the forefront of this innovation,” said Ford Asia Pacific product development vice president Trevor Worthington.