TOKYO -- Ford Motor Co. sees large electrified vehicles offering a quicker payback for consumers and therefore won't follow Toyota Motor Corp. and other rivals into small-sized hybrids, Nancy Gioia, Ford's global director of electrified drivetrains, said.
Gioia said small cars already get good fuel economy and don't warrant the additional costs of the electric motors and expensive batteries. That equation is especially true for subcompact B-segment cars, such as the Ford Fiesta, which typically sell for less than mid-sized C-segment cars, she said at the Automotive World electrified powertrain conference.
"The C car would have a payback of four years," she said, whereas "a B car would drop all of a sudden to seven years."
In contrast to dedicated electrified nameplates such as the hybrid-only Toyota Prius, Ford will roll out hybrid variants on its best-selling nameplates, she said. Part of the goal is saving costs on common components for global platform vehicles such as the Focus and Fusion. Ford is also adding the hybrid C-Max five-door hatchback this year.
She reiterated Ford's forecast that electrified drivetrains will account for up to a quarter of its global sales by 2020. The target includes gasoline-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
Electrified vehicles accounted for just 1 percent of Ford's volume last year. Gioia said the company expects that share to rise to 2 to 5 percent by 2015, and to 10 to 25 percent by the end of the decade.
"Instead of a one-off vehicle that represents a technology," she said, "we are electrifying and providing fuel diversity on our highest volume global platforms."