Ford Motor Company is extending its global electric vehicles plan to Europe with five full electric or hybrid vehicles across its C, CD and light commercial vehicle ranges to be introduced in that market by 2013.
Specifically, Ford will launch two zero-emission full battery-electric vehicles including the Transit Connect Electric light commercial vehicle in 2011 followed by the Ford Focus Electric in 2012. Three other vehicles—two next-generation gasoline hybrid-electric vehicles and a plug-in hybrid&madsh;will be introduced in 2013.
|“There is no question in our mind at this point that oil, as the only alternative for our vehicles, is not a good business strategy. Around the world by 2020, we see 10 to 25 percent of the Ford fleet electrified.”|
|—Nancy Gioia, Ford’s director of global electrification|
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. 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 award-winning 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.
While Ford has considerable experience in the North American market with full gasoline-hybrid vehicles, the company also is planning to expand its presence in Europe with two all-new, next-generation hybrid passenger cars based on global platforms following in 2013. In addition, European customers will be able to opt for a plug-in hybrid model, also coming in 2013.
Further details of Ford’s hybrid and plug-in hybrid models will be revealed closer to launch.
Prototype Trials 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 prototype 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 behavior.
In Germany, Ford has recently announced its participation in the colognE-mobil project. (Earlier post.) 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. The other partners are utility company RheinEnergie AG, the City of Cologne and the University of Duisburg-Essen. The colognE-mobil project is partly funded by the German Government and coordinated by the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.