Ford's European electrification programme sees the introduction of two zero-emission full battery-electric vehicles, including the Transit Connect Electric light commercial vehicle in 2011, followed by the next generation Ford Focus Electric in 2012. A hybrid and a plug-in hybrid derivative of the all-new C-MAX, plus another hybrid-electric model will follow by 2013.
As a result, Ford will deploy a versatile people carrier version of the Transit Connect for the UK demonstration programme, which is supported by Scottish and Southern Energy. This will see a fleet of zero emissions vehicles used by both the energy company and a number of drivers based in the London Borough of Hillingdon.
A consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy and the University of Strathclyde is providing the Transit Connect Electric 5-passenger vehicles and a charging infrastructure in and around Hillingdon during 2010 and 2011. By using production-intent powertrains and batteries Ford has been able to increase the demonstration fleet to 21 passenger vehicles from the original plan of 15.
This programme will test vehicle and infrastructure technology ahead of the Transit Connect Electric going on sale in 2011.
London residents will be among the first in Britain to experience Ford's zero emissions technology. Experienced drivers will be selected to take part in the programme and they will go through a rigorous familiarisation and training programme to ensure that useful data can be produced under safe, realistic operating conditions.
The Transit Connect Electric demonstration fleet is being developed partly with public funding from the UK Government's Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which promotes innovative industry-led projects that reduce CO2 while benefitting the country's transport system.
Joe Greenwell, Ford of Britain chairman, said: "There is increasing interest among our customers for electrified vehicles and we are responding by stepping up our efforts to bring these models to the marketplace alongside our latest-generation, fuel-efficient petrol and diesel powered models. Ford is looking forward to working with its project partners on developing this market for electric vehicles both in the UK and Europe."
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