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Ford’s Electric Vehicles are coming

Ford has announced that it will introduce five full-electric and hybrid models in Europe by 2013 starting with a electric Ford Transit Connect in 2011, followed by an electric Focus in 2012. Two new hybrid-electric models and a plug-in hybrid-electric model will follow in 2013.

The Focus Electric will be based on Ford’s next-generation Focus model and is one of at least ten vehicles that will be developed from the company’s new global C-car platform. The Focus Electric will be introduced in the US and Canada in 2011, followed by Europe in 2012.

The Ford Transit Connect Electric is a zero-emission, pure electric-powered version of the Transit Connect light commercial vehicle and goes on sale in North America later this year. Ford is aiming to make the Transit Connect Electric available for European customers from 2011.

Ford has considerable experience in the North American market with full petrol-hybrid vehicles, so the company is planning to use this knowledge to expand its presence in Europe with two all-new, next-generation hybrid passenger cars based on global platforms in 2013. There will also be a plug-in hybrid model in Europe.

Ford’s Product Development team is participating in two specific European trial initiatives to demonstrate the technology in real world driving conditions, and generate feedback to help develop further the Focus Electric and the Transit Connect Electric for market acceptance in Europe.

In the UK, a consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and Strathclyde University is preparing later this year to run a fleet of zero emissions Ford Focus Battery Electric Vehicle prototypes, based around the current Focus model sold in Europe and using elements of the technology under development for the new Focus Electric.

The vehicles will be used for evaluation by both SSE and a number of fleet and private customers based in Hillingdon, Middlesex from mid-2010.

This new UK-based BEV demonstration fleet is being created partly with public funding from the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which promotes innovative industry-led projects that reduce CO2. The BEV research programme aims to test the technology’s suitability and to gain greater insight into customer charging behaviour.

In Germany, Ford has recently announced its participation in the colognE-mobil project. This initiative will research the impact of electric vehicles on urban air quality, traffic safety and the electricity supply infrastructure. Scientists will then scale up the results to examine the true benefits an electric future could deliver for German cities.

Ford is one of four partners in the colognE-mobil project and will provide an early fleet of next-generation Focus Electric vehicles in late 2011.

Other technologies due from Ford in the near future include the new Ford EcoBoost global engine family featuring turbocharging and direct injection, Ford’s ECOnetic range of low-CO2 technologies in Europe, and multi-speed transmissions such as Ford PowerShift.

Keywords: Ford Transit Connect Electric, Ford Focus Electric, Ford Focus Battery Electric Vehicle prototype, Technology Strategy Board, colognE-mobil project.