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Ford hybrid here by 2017
Ford’s first petrol-electric expected in about two years, could be the Mondeo Hybrid
11 Dec 2014
FORD will release its first hybrid-powered vehicle to Australia in about two years time, but the company is keeping the model and its level of electrification a tightly guarded secret.
Revealed by Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano earlier in the week at the 2014 Go Further event in Melbourne, the announcement is intended to get buyers thinking about the company in a hybrid sense.
The leading contender is a variation of the upcoming European-market Mondeo Hybrid, which currently employs a 2.0-litre Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder petrol engine, a pair of electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack driving the front wheels via a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission)This delivers a combined output of about 140kW of power, a zero to 100km/h time of 9.2 seconds, fuels consumption of 4.2 litres per 100 kilometres on the European combined cycle and 99 grams/km of carbon dioxide emissions.
Mr Graziano told GoAuto that it made sense for Ford to offer hybrid options as a part of a varied powertrain portfolio.
“It is part of our communication strategy of how Ford is transitioning, moving towards 2020… from a product standpoint or from a consumer standpoint that we think is very relevant and very important to our brand,” he said.
“It is a great idea to begin to talk about the electrification of Ford products… we are the second highest seller of EVs in the world, and we do that from a platform standpoint to provide the consumer with a number of powertrain choices.
“As we have multiple numbers of vehicle lines, this just continues to add to that, for those customers that are interested in that technology.” Ford vice president of product development for Asia Pacific Trevor Worthington added that the time is now for the Blue Oval brand to begin its dialogue with Australian consumers, particularly as future greenhouse emissions legislation will most likely force the issue on all manufacturers.
“If you look at the big picture, the world is changing,” he said.
“Electrification is being driven by many, many things – one of which is regulatory requirements about meeting an average requirement – and they’re getting tougher and tougher.
“So companies are going to be developing a more varied view of what electrification means – whether it is PHEVs (Plug-in Electric Vehicles) or very small number of battery EVs. And the point we’re trying to make is that Australia isn’t on the outer when it comes to that discussion.
“To some extent we’ve already got vehicles we can bring here and sell tomorrow, but there just isn’t the pool of buyers in Australia. But my view is that there will be in the future, and our view is that we are ready to take that on.”
It is likely that Ford Australia will wait for a more evolved version of the Mondeo Hybrid or any EV with greater battery range before it commits one to Australia.
“There’s a new generation of (hybrids and EVs) coming that will be extremely relevant in an Australian context,” Mr Worthington said.
“And the point about the dialogue is that if anybody thinks that poor old Ford Australia isn’t part of that, well, they are. We’re part of Asia Pacific, I’m part of Asia Pacific, we’re developing that strategy globally and Ford Australia is part of that dialogue.
“So you will see electrified vehicles here in the future. But there’s got to be to some extent some market pull for it.”
Mr Worthington told GoAuto two weeks ago at the FG X Falcon launch that the Australian market was not quite ready for electrified vehicles and suggested that PHEVs and EVs could be up to five years away from local launch.
“To some extent if you are going to introduce it to a market, the market has got to be ready to sell it,” he said.
“There are a number of markets – the US and Europe – where we have introduced those technologies. We are just not ready to do it yet.”
28th of November 2014
Ford holds off on hybrids, EVsElectrified Fords on hold as Australian market is not ready: Worthington
19th of November 2014
Ford goes after Camry with MondeoDelayed Ford Mondeo set to wage war against Camry on fuel efficiency and safety
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