Ford, seeing good success in the United States with its green vehicle strategy, is now looking to mimic that move in Europe. The American automaker recently announced the planned launch of three electrified vehicles by 2014, aiming to bring to European drivers the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, Mondeo Hybrid and the all-electric Focus Electric.
Specific deployment plans call for the Focus Electric, which started production this past summer, to be available next week. In European specifications, the electric car
features an advanced electric motor and lithium-ion battery powertrain that produces 142 PS, achieves a top speed of 137 km/h and has a driving range of 162 km. The 6.6 kW fully integrated on board charger can charge the 23 kWh liquid cooled lithium-ion battery pack in 3-4 hours, when plugged to 32 amp grid connection.
The C-Max Energi and Mondeo Hybrid (known as the Fusion Hybrid in the US), meanwhile, will launch next year. The Energi, according to Ford, combines hybrid electric technology with a 7.6 kWh lithium-ion high-voltage battery. It is targeted to provide CO2 emissions below 50 g/km and to run in pure electric mode for more than 30 km. Connected to a charging station it can be fully recharged in less than 3 hours.
The Mondeo Hybrid, in its configuration, “combines an internal combustion engine with an electric motor and battery, and is capable of driving up to 136 km/h (85 mph) on electric power alone. The combustion engine takes over for higher-demand operation and charges the battery, while electric power is used for vehicle launch and lower speeds.” It is targeted to reach fuel economy “below 4.5 l/100 km and CO2 emissions below 99 g/km.”
Ford believes Europe to be ready for its greener cars, as a survey it recently commissioned found 72 percent of the area’s residents find electric vehicles and hybrids are better for the environment. That being said, only 28 percent at this point would actually consider buying one. The company hopes to grow this number though so it can increase the success in the space it has had so far, which amounts to sales of around 46,000 units this year through June. This is over a 400 percent increase from a year ago.