It’s been on the cards for a time and Ford has always maintained that they would be into electric vehicles when the market was ready.
Hybrid and electric vehicles are going mainstream, a small but growing market right now, but within ten years half of all cars will be electrified.
EV’s and hybrid cars are here to stay and Ford’s ambitions of keeping the mix of driving excitement, pleasure and fun to drive are assured. Well, the time is now and this week at a major event in Amsterdam the Ford Motor Company announced their vision for the future.
It’s not just about electric cars, it’s also about vans, it’s about Smart cars in a smart world. Electrification is just the start, networked vehicles and the Ford transportation mobility cloud will take all this new technology to another level and the game has just begun.
At the event Steven Armstrong the Chairman of Ford Europe, laid out the vision, announcing 16 electrified vehicles, with eight of them being on the road by the end of the year.
‘Today, the automotive industry is facing change on an unprecedented scale, as we work towards a cleaner, quieter and less congested future.’
The event wasn’t just about vehicles, Ford is one of the founders of IONITY, a new superfast European charging network with 400 locations by the end of 2020. As we know the infrastructure still has a long way to go.
The Ford Kuga, now in its All-New Kuga PHEV guise is the electrified SUV that will fit the bill for many, now sleeker, lower and wider, it is coming to the UK at the end of 2019. Available as before in Titanium, St-Line and Vignale, the innovations on this SUV will push the boundary with a choice of three electrified versions EcoBlue Hybrid, self-charging Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid, with other more old style powertrains available. The All-New Kuga Hybrid will be a drivers car with zero emissions, 225PS, 50kn of pure electric range and the calm silent driving characteristics expected from a PHEV electric car.
Vans are key vehicles to keeping our cities cleaner, quieter and less congested, The Transit PHEV is going to lead the way with a Transit EcoBlue Hybrid and an All Electric Transit coming in 2021 to join the family. And to all the naysayers of electric, the powertrains in these Transit’s have not impacted on payload capacity in any way. This is just the start to a complete overhaul in technology for fleet operations.
The vans are just one part, the connectivity solutions on offer will enable fuel saving, zero emissions and no range constraints, quick and easy recharging. Prototypes have already been real-world tested in London over 180,000km.
Also joining the party the Tourneo becomes the all-new Ford Tourneo Custom plug-in hybrid, with zero emissions for this popular lifestyle people carrier.
The New Mondeo ST-Line Wagon Self-Charging Hybrid will be out later in the year, making the proposition of ownership more sense than owning a diesel for drivers covering more than 12000 miles p.a.
Offering solutions more accessible for many, the most popular cars in the range Fiesta and Focus will be available in EcoBoost Hybrid, with clever 48-volt battery technology the cars will keep the ‘Fun to drive’ philosophy and with what Ford is calling torque supplementation to bring faster acceleration and sharper response with no turbo lag and power up to 155ps all from a 1.0-litre turbo petrol.
Due to right-hand drive engineering constraints, sadly now for one we aren’t getting in the UK, the monstrous, but pretty good -looking 7 seater SUV the All-New Ford Explorer PHEV. Ford’s most powerful SUV to date with 40km available on the pure electric range and a massive 450hp and colossal torque of 840Nm. One for the ski trips or holidays abroad.
At the event, I cannot help think that Ford should have had just one signature EV, fully electric, something cool, fun, a car to liven the electric market à la Leaf or Zoe. They have however chosen the reinvigorate the Puma brand name into an All-New athletic SUV-inspired compact crossover. Coming later this year with not a fully electric powertrain but EcoBoost Hybrid 48-volt technology, using a belt-driven integrated starter/generator (BISG) with a 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine the All-New Puma will bring dynamic, lively performance with 155ps, low emissions and class-leading luggage space. We were only given a sneak preview, in a darkened auditorium, so this is one to watch out for.
” If you want a car that can turn heads on Friday night, and swallow your flat-pack furniture with ease on Saturday afternoon, then you’ve found it,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe.
And just one more thing, Ford also hinted at something truly exciting coming by 2022, a car for the battery head, with electric powertrains being the opportunity for mega-performance this inspired by Mustang, All-Electric performance SUV ‘will be electrifying in every way – exciting to look at, thrilling to drive – this thing will go like hell!’ with an anxiety killing range of up to 370 miles. The excitement awaits.
The man from Drive.co.uk
After many, many years of being passionate about cars, spending too much money on cars and too much time driving. I now spend my time running and developing Drive.co.uk and creating a bold expressive new motoring lifestyle website along with some very good writers.
” Drive | Quotes “
‘I probably wouldn’t be a good spokesman for an electric car, because I’ll still get on a private jet, and one flight on a private jet undoes all my electric-car good deeds.’Tweet
– George Clooney