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Ford Motor Company has announced plans to invest $135 million into two of its Detroit-area plants, creating what the company calls a "center of excellence" for electric vehicles (EVs). The investment will be divided between the company's transaxle plant in Sterling Heights, MI and its Ypsilanti battery plant. Combined, Ford says, 220 new jobs will be created including 130 at the transaxle plant, 40 at the battery facility and 50 engineers to be split between the two sites.

The graphical representation above really tells the whole story here, but we'll try to offer up a little extra insight anyway. Deloitte Consulting conducted a widespread survey covering several aspects of the automotive industry, and you can read the whole report here. The graph above illustrates just one finding, but it really paints a picture of the overall results of the survey.

Ford Motor Company's development of upcoming battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) has been, so far, an outside job. Electric versions of the Transit Connect and the Ford Focus were developed with the help of suppliers Azure Dynamics Inc. and Magna International Inc., but Ford has not ruled out producing future BEVs in-house. As Ford's director of electrification programs Sherif Marakby stated:

Ford Transit Connect Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford Transit Connect Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

We heard from Ford CEO Alan Mulally yesterday about his company's overall work with the U.S. government on energy policy. He's not the only Ford representative at the show worth talking to at the Washington Auto Show, though, and we got to sit down with Nancy Gioia, Ford's director of global electrification, for an update on the company's plug-in vehicle projects.

Jay Leno's Green Car Challenge Ford Focus EV - Click above for high-res image gallery

Jay Leno's Green Car Challenge Ford Focus EV - Click above for high-res image gallery

With the new North American market Ford Fiesta set to launch production in Mexico in just a few months, it's no surprise that someone has spotted one running around near Mexico City. In this case, the car that was seen is the sedan version that is likely to comprise the majority of U.S. sales. Automovil, which got a hold of these pics and saw an electric cord sticking out of the lower grille, is speculating that this is an electrified version of the Fiesta, going so far as to claim that it was o

Ford Focus EV - Click above for high-res image gallery

Click for a high res gallery of the Magna Steyr Mila EV

Click above for high-res gallery of the Ford Focus EV "mule"

Click above for high-res gallery of the Ford Focus EV "mule"

While it took months for GM to let the media drive its Volt mule, Ford has wasted no time in giving Bill Vlasic of the New York Times a chance to try out its own all-electric Ford Focus-based prototype. The company just announced the existence of the vehicle a few days ago.

When Ford submitted its business plan to Congress, a new electric van was mentioned that is scheduled to debut in 2010 for commercial fleet use. We expect to hear more about the automaker's EV plans in very short order, but in the meantime, CEO Alan Mulally is now indicating that it will be a version of the Transit line that is currently available in Europe and is scheduled to hit American shores in the summer of '09. This news, while interesting, should come as anything but a shocker, consideri

EBay is one of the better places to shop for electric vehicles these days (recent up tick in scam offers notwithstanding). Aside from EV Finder's classifieds, there aren't many other places you can get an all-electric Ford Ranger, that's for sure. There is currently a Ford Ranger EV up for auction with a bid of $7,600 (but the reserve price has not yet been met).

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