Ford Motor Company has said that it is investing $135m to design, engineer and produce key components for the company’s next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV).

Ford engineers in Dearborn will design the battery packs while engineers in Livonia will design electric-drive transaxles for the hybrids, based on Ford’s global C- and CD-car platforms, which go into production in North America in 2012.

Ford’s Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, will assemble the battery packs beginning in 2012 and Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, will build the electric drive transaxles beginning in 2012.

Ford’s in-house team will design and engineer the lithium-ion battery systems for its hybrid vehicles. These battery systems will be designed specifically for the company’s hybrids, including the global CD-car platform hybrid and the global C-car platform hybrid, which will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in 2012.

To support battery pack assembly at the Rawsonville Plant, Ford will invest approximately $10m in capital equipment and add about 40 jobs.

Ford also will internally design and engineer an electric, front-wheel-drive, continuously variable transaxle to supply its hybrid-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles in North America. Ford will invest $125m in Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights to produce the HF35 transaxle.

Ford also plans to launch five new full electric or hybrid vehicles in the compact, midsize and light commercial segments for the North American market by 2012 and European markets by 2013.

This lineup includes Transit Connect Electric, Focus Electric; Lincoln MKZ hybrid; a new hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle based on global C-car platform; and a C-MAX hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric model.

Mark Fields, president of Ford, Americas, said: ”Electrified vehicles are a key part of our plan to offer a full lineup of green vehicles, and we are building a center of excellence in the US, here in Michigan, to keep Ford on the cutting edge.

”Today’s announcement is another important step in our larger strategy to launch a family of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles around the world.”