Ford considers plug-in hybrids for Europe

Meanwhile, electric car sales in the US are finally gaining significant ground

Ford may introduce plug-in hybrid versions of both the Mondeo and the C-Max as part of an expansion of its electric vehicle lineups in Europe. The American car maker already sells plug-in versions of the Fusion (nee Mondeo) and C-Max under the Energi sub-brand in the US.

The European versions of both cars are built in the same factory in Valencia, Spain, which would make the investment needed to bring them to Europe that much lower. For the moment, Ford has only committed to bring the conventional hybrid version of the new Mondeo to Europe.

While the European model Mondeo hybrid, without a plug-in capability, scores a 99g/km CO2 rating, the American market Fusion Energi has a claimed 32km battery-only range, a 23g/km CO2 figure and a 2.7-litres per 100km fuel economy rating. There is some controversy around that figure though. Ford was forced into an embarrassing climbdown from the car’s original 100mpg (2.4 litres per 100km) figure after the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received angry complaints from buyers that their cars could get nowhere near the official figures.

There are only four plug-in hybrids on sale in Europe – the BMW i3 REX, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the Volvo S60 plug-in and the Toyota Prius plug-in. Even combined, their sales figures don't currently break the 20,000 units-a-year barrier, but Ford is obviously keeping an eye on the future.

Neil Briscoe

Neil Briscoe

Neil Briscoe, a contributor to The Irish Times, specialises in motoring