Ford has announced that it will introduce a plug-in hybrid Transit Custom model to European markets by 2019.
At a press conference held at its Michigan headquarters this week, Ford revealed its plans for up to 13 new electrified vehicles to be launched around the world in the next five years. The moves are part of a USD$4.5 billion investment in electrification of its range by 2020.
Seven models were specifically announced at the conference. Although most of the models so far disclosed are aimed at North American markets, the Transit Custom will be engineered in Europe and designed for congested European cities.
An F-150 Hybrid pick-up was also announced, although this is not expected to be offered in Europe or the UK. Other models revealed include a Mustang Hybrid, a fully-electric compact SUV, an electric autonomous taxi and two hybrid police vehiclesThe Transit Custom plug-in hybrid will begin testing on European roads this year, along with “a new set of mobility services, telematics and connectivity solutions”.
Ford is also currently testing a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi and van prototypes in New York and other major US cities, so it seems likely that a hybrid Transit Connect production vehicle is on the cards in the near future.
Speaking at this week’s announcement, Ford president and CEO, Mark Fields, said: “Our investments and expanding line-up reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed petrol-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.
“Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people’s lives better.”
Ford is one of a group of four major car manufacturers who have joined forces to plan a network of high-powered fast charging outlets on major transport routes across Europe, with a view to providing around 400 charging locations in coming years.