Ford said this week it had underlined its commitment to electric and hybrid vehicles by planning to spend $450m more on its Michigan assembly plant in Wayne.

The move hikes the investment tally to $1bn and creates 1,000 more jobs in the state, while transforming the plant from making SUVs to building the new Focus just launched at the Detroit show and the pure electric version following in 2011. The plant will eventually build other C-car platform based models including hybrids and plug in hybrids.

"This investment underscores how serious we are about delivering a range of electrified vehicles to customers - including hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles," said Fords chairman Bill Ford. "Our industry is at the intersection of three critical global issues - the economy, energy and the environment."

Ford will also design and build lithium ion cells and battery packs itself in Michigan, shifting production of the packs from Mexico to Michigan, although a date has yet to be set for the move.

Ford has also recently announced it would produce hybrid transaxles at Van Dyke Transmission in Sterling Heights, Michigan, from 2012.

The automaker has received state incentives and tax credits worth $188m for reusing brownfield sites and assembling battery packs.

Ford also plans to launch a battery electric Transit Connect small van later this year. It will have a range of up to 80 miles while the battery Focus EV due in 2011 has a target range of up to 100 miles.

"Battery system design and development will be a core competency for Ford in the 21st century," said director of global electrification, Nancy Gioia.