Fleet News

Electro-hybrid on sale in US

FORD'S first hybrid-electric family-sized saloon goes on the road this month with an American fleet, the US Department of Energy. The manufacturer claims that the car, codenamed the P2000 LSR, will achieve more than 60mpg from its 1.2-litre, 74bhp direct injection petrol engine.

The hybrid system turns off the fuel supply to the engine when no propulsion power is required, such as coasting down a hill or when stopped at traffic lights, but can restart supply within 0.2 seconds when required. The car does not, however, have the ability to drive on battery power alone, a facility that would make it significantly heavier and more expensive. Ford has used ultra-lightweight materials to build the P2000 LSR, which weighs 40% less than the equivalent sized Ford Taurus (the US Mondeo).

Bill Powers, Ford's vice-president of research, said: 'Ford plans to lead the industry in developing practical next-generation family vehicles that deliver satisfying performance with significantly improved fuel efficiency and very low emissions. The P2000 LSR, along with Ford's hydrogen fuel cell research vehicle, are important stepping stones to delivering on that promise.'

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