Predicting changes in the European auto market isn't easy, and Ford is hedging its bets there with the introduction of the Mondeo Hybrid. The Blue Oval has no expectation of the electrified version of the sedan being a rollicking sales success, but the model is a fuel-efficient alternative in case the recent backlash against diesel turns into an outright ban somewhere.

This is the first time Ford is selling a hybrid version of the Mondeo (a cousin to the Fusion in the US) in Europe. The vehicle pairs a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder with a 1.4-kWh battery pack to make a total of 185 horsepower and emit 99 grams per kilometer of CO2. The Blue Oval expects to sell around 100,000 units of all versions of the sedan annually there, according to Automotive News Europe. However, fewer than 5,000 of those are predicted to be the gas-electric model.

"Legislation around Europe is so different it's very difficult to predict," Roelant de Waard, Ford of Europe sales boss, said to ANE. "If you're betting only on one horse you might be lucky, but you also may be very unlucky."

Ford is probably smart to have alternatives ready, and it also already offers the Focus Electric and hybrid C-Max there. Governments in Europe are rapidly turning against diesel, especially in France. The country considered offering buyers 10,000 euros ($11,300) if they trade in an old oil-burner on a new electric vehicle, and the prime minister calls backing the fuel for so long a mistake. The UK's Labour Party is making similar declarations.

The New Ford Mondeo Hybrid at Ecomondo 2014

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