Ford announces European hybrid and EV plans
The carmaker said forthcoming models are catering for a heightened environmental awareness among consumers. In a Ford-sponsored recent poll of 6,000 people across Europe, 54% said they believed climate change is the biggest problem facing the world, yet 52% said they couldn’t live without a car.
By the end of next year, three models will be available in Europe with electric or part-electric drivetrains. Ford has already begun production of the Focus Electric at its plant in Saarlouis, Germany, and sales begin during September.
During 2014, this will be followed by the C-MAX Energi, a plug-in hybrid based on the familiar small MPV which will target CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km. The next-generation Mondeo will also be available with a petrol-electric drivetrain alongside traditional diesel and petrol models, and the carmaker is aiming for a tax-efficient 99g/km from its flagship version.
Barb Samardzich, vice president, product development, Ford of Europe, said: ‘Ford is leveraging our global experience and expertise to roll-out a range of electrified vehicles that offers a wide and compelling power of choice.
‘European customers care deeply about the environment and are increasingly seeing electrified vehicles as a way of balancing those concerns with a commitment to car ownership.’
Electrified vehicles are already a growing part of Ford’s U.S. sales. The company has plug-in and conventional hybrid versions of the C-MAX and Fusion (which will come to Europe as the next Mondeo) on sale, as well as the Focus Electric, selling a total of 46,000 units in the first six months of 2013.