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Ford to offer more electric vehicles in Europe

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Ford to offer more electric vehicles in Europe

BY BRENT SNAVELY

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Ford plans to unveil an electric vehicle strategy for Europe today designed to help the automaker diversify its vehicle lineup so that between 10% and 25% of its global vehicle sales can come from hybrid or electric vehicles by 2020.

"We are taking our electrification strategy full-force into Europe," said Nancy Gioia, Ford's director of global electrification.

By 2013, Ford plans to introduce five different hybrid or electric vehicles in Europe. The plan closely resembles Ford's electric vehicle introduction schedule for North America.

The plans, to be announced today at the Geneva Motor Show, begin with an electric Transit Connect commercial van in 2011 and an electric version of the Ford Focus by 2012.

By 2013, Ford expects to offer two yet-to-be named gas-electric hybrid vehicles, and a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle is to go on sale.

Gioia said future hybrid and electric vehicle sales volume depends on the price of gas, government incentives and how quickly battery technology develops.

But as first reported by the Free Press in January, Gioia said she expects 10% to 25% of Ford's total vehicle sales will come from hybrid, plug-in hybrid or battery-electric vehicles by 2020 -- even though total hybrid vehicle sales accounted for just 2.4% of U.S. sales in 2009.

Gioia said Ford is developing three types of electric vehicles because the future is difficult to predict. They are:

• Gas-electric hybrids like the Ford Fusion hybrid on the road today.

• Plug-in hybrids that can go 30 miles or more on a single charge before switching to a gas- or diesel-powered engine.

• Battery electric vehicles like the Transit Connect Electric, which is expected to go up to 100 miles on a single charge.

"Our strategy is to build all these down the same assembly line," Gioia said.

link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100302/BUSINESS01/3020324/1210/Ford-to-offer-more-electric-vehicles-in-Europe

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