The American company and electric vehicle specialists Zotye Automobile will build and sell the fully-electric vehicles in China, the fastest-growing market in the world for electric, hybrid and alternatively-fuelled vehicles.
Ford expects that the number of new energy vehicles (NEVs: hybrid, electric, hydrogen, etc.) will exceed six million units a year by 2025, and that two-thirds of that enormous number will be electric vehicles.
Officials are also working on new rules that would require 8% of vehicle sales to be electric next year and 12% by 2020.
"Electric vehicles will be a big part of the future in China", said Peter Fleet, CEO of Ford China. Zotye, Ford's new partner, is an electric vehicle specialist, with a total of 16,000 EV sales so far in 2017. By 2040 the analysts forecast U.S. EV sales will account for 58% of all new auto sales, and China EV sales will account for 51% of new cars sold in the Middle Kingdom. Zotye, which does not produce gas or diesel cars, sold more than 16,000 electric vehicles through July this year - a 56% increase from the same period in 2016.
New auto sales in China are much higher than in the USA: the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales for the U.S.in July was about 16.7 million units; in China the rate was 24 million.
The joint venture would aim to capture "a sizeable share" of China's all-electric passenger vehicle market, though the firms said further details, including information about products, production volume, and the brand, will be announced at a later date, pending a final definitive agreement and the regulatory go-ahead.
Globally, Ford is in the midst of a $4.5 billion investment in electrification that will result in 13 new electrified vehicles in the next five years.
The vehicle - the Baojun E100 - is made in China by a joint venture between GM and China's SAIC and Wuling Motors.