Click above for high-res gallery of the Ford Focus EV "mule"
Ford may have been relatively quiet on the electric vehicle front while General Motors got all the attention for its Chevy Volt series hybrid, but the Blue Oval has come roaring back in recent months. It was revealed in its viability plan submitted to Congress back in December that an electric commercial van would be launched just one year from now followed by an electric car the next year. According to CEO Alan Mulally, that's just the start. At a conference in California this week, Mulally declared, "In 10 years, 12 years, you are going to see a major portion of our portfolio move to electric vehicles." Mulally told the conference that internal combustion efficiency will also improve dramatically over the next decade, and more hybrids will join the lineup including a plug-in hybrid that will debut in 2012.
Ford is shifting a significant proportion of its truck building capacity to cars over the next two years and the company doesn't expect truck sales to recover to their previous record heights. While fuel prices are low now, they are expected to climb again as the economy recovers. The shifts to cars and more hybrid and electric vehicles will be necessary to meet both market demands created by those expected higher fuel prices and government mandates for higher fuel efficiency.
Related GalleryABG Quick Drive: Ford Focus EV mule
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[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]