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Ford to invest $450 million in electric hybrid rollout

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Ford said it will spend another $450 million on top of the $550 million it has already invested to build out its electronic hybrid lineup.

Ford said it will spend another $450 million on top of the $550 million it has already invested to build out its electronic hybrid lineup.

The automaker said it will build next-generation and plug-in hybrids in Michigan starting in 2012 (statement). According to the company, its assembly plant in Wayne, Mich. will transition from an SUV factory to one focused on hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full battery electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, Ford said it will bring its battery system design and development in-house. Ford added that it will design lithium-ion battery systems and move production from Mexico to Michigan. The move was partially enabled by state tax breaks, but Ford is expected to create up to 1,000 new jobs in Michigan.

In addition to its Ford Fusion and Escape hybrids and its Mercury Milan and Mariner hybrids, the company is planning the following electric vehicles over the next 3 years:

  • Ford Transit Connect battery electric vehicle commercial van in 2010. Connect is a small commercial van.
  • Ford Focus Electric passenger car in 2011.
  • Next-generation hybrid based on C-car platform in 2012.
  • Plug-in hybrid based on C-car platform in 2012.

Ford's C-car platform is a globally engineered template that will be the underpinnings of the new Ford Focus and 9 other cars in the pipeline.  Here's a look at Ford's redesigned Focus:

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Larry Dignan

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan is editor-in-chief of SmartPlanet and ZDNet. He is also editorial director of TechRepublic. Previously, he was an editor at eWeek, Baseline and CNET News. He has written for WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, New York Times and Financial Planning. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Delaware. He is based in New York but resides in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure