Ford: China will lead our electric-car effort, 300-mile electric SUV to be built in Mexico

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2018 Ford Fusion Energi

2018 Ford Fusion Energi

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As we start to look toward the 2019 model year, it's worth noting that Ford hasn't introduced a single new hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric vehicle since 2013.

In fact, the company is now clearing the decks and killing off old models.

The C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid tall hatchback went out of production a few months ago, and its Hybrid sibling will follow this spring or summer.

DON'T MISS: Ford plans 300-mile electric SUV, hybrid F-150 and Mustang (Jan 2017)

That will leave Ford with just the Fusion Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid sedans, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (without a plug-in variant), and the aging, low-volume Ford Focus Electric compliance car now in its seventh model year.

Granted, the company has routinely issued press releases about its plans for "13 electrified models," which it later clarified to mean hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or battery-electric vehicles.

And it's promised a "300-mile electric SUV" to arrive in 2020, as well as an F-Series Hybrid full-size pickup truck.

2018 Ford F-150 Outlaw WJ750

2018 Ford F-150 Outlaw WJ750

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Some of those new models, however, are things like a Police Responder version of the Ford Fusion Hybrid or a low-volume range-extended electric Ford Transit van for European tests.

None of those notably moves the ball forward, and they underscore the striking lack of new electrified vehicles developed during the tenure of now-departed CEO Mark Fields.

They beg the question of what kind of electrified vehicle pipeline new CEO Jim Hackett inherited when he took over in May after Ford's board of directors canned Fields.

READ THIS: Ford fires CEO Fields, in part, for lagging on electric cars

At the time, one of the reasons suggested by outsiders for Fields' abrupt dismissal was his lack of planning for future electric vehicles. Ford has not commented on that suggestion.

In his seven months at the helm, Hackett has said relatively little about specific future models.

In October, he did say Ford would streamline product development, focus on more SUVs and fewer passenger cars, and cut funding for engines by one-third to focus on electrification and autonomous vehicles.

Jim Hackett (left) and Bill Ford Jr.

Jim Hackett (left) and Bill Ford Jr.

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Analysts will be looking closely at whatever Ford launches at next month's Detroit auto show, which is expected to be heavy on trucks and SUVs.

But here's what we know so far about Ford and its plans for future plug-in electric vehicles: It's mostly about China.

A company press release on December 5, datelined Shanghai, said Ford plans to launch 15 new "electrified" vehicles in China by 2025, along with another 35 powered only by gasoline.

CHECK OUT: Most Fords will be hybrid or electric by 2025 ... in China

Ford chairman Bill Ford joined Hackett for the announcement, which included a nod to the company's August announcement of a joint venture with Chinese maker Zotye specifically for electric vehicles.

“From luxury Lincolns to Ford cars and SUVs, to an all-new electric vehicle brand, we will meet the growing desire and need in China for great new energy vehicles,” said Jason Luo, chairman and CEO, Ford China.

Lu promised not only that the new cars would be safe, efficient, and fun, but that they would also be "backed by an ecosystem that makes charging, sharing and servicing easy.”

The joint venture from Zotye and Ford, the release said, would "deliver a separate range of affordable all-electric under a new brand, pending regulatory approvals."

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