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Forty-four years ago, Ford Motor Company unveiled a battery-powered concept car at the Geneva Motor Show. The year was 1967 and the electrified car was the Ford Comuta, a pint-sized concept with specs that pale in comparison to today's electric vehicles.

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Ford Transit Connect Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

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If you're General Motors, you're focused on promoting the plug-in hybrid nature of the Chevrolet Volt. If you're Nissan, then your message is all-electric for the Leaf. If you're Ford, though, and are going to introduce five new electrified vehicles with a variety of powertrains by 2012, then your messaging is a little more complicated.

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Like it did in the Northwest last month, Ford is getting another area of the country ready for electric vehicles. In this case, it's two cities in Texas – Austin and Houston – where Ford is going to do a lot of consumer outreach and education, not only deploying electric vehicle charging stations. Ford's electric vehicle line-up for the next two years includes the Transit Connect, the Focus EV in 2011, two third-generation lithium-ion battery hybrids (2012) and a plug-in hybrid (201

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Ford Fusion hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Ford Motor Company has announced plans to invest $135 million into two of its Detroit-area plants, creating what the company calls a "center of excellence" for electric vehicles (EVs). The investment will be divided between the company's transaxle plant in Sterling Heights, MI and its Ypsilanti battery plant. Combined, Ford says, 220 new jobs will be created including 130 at the transaxle plant, 40 at the battery facility and 50 engineers to be split between the two sites.

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Ford Transit Connect Taxi – Click above for high-res image gallery

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We heard from Ford CEO Alan Mulally yesterday about his company's overall work with the U.S. government on energy policy. He's not the only Ford representative at the show worth talking to at the Washington Auto Show, though, and we got to sit down with Nancy Gioia, Ford's director of global electrification, for an update on the company's plug-in vehicle projects.

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Jay Leno's Green Car Challenge Ford Focus EV - Click above for high-res image gallery

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Ford Focus EV - Click above for high-res image gallery

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Click the Focus EV "mule" for a high res gallery

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When Ford submitted its business plan to Congress, a new electric van was mentioned that is scheduled to debut in 2010 for commercial fleet use. We expect to hear more about the automaker's EV plans in very short order, but in the meantime, CEO Alan Mulally is now indicating that it will be a version of the Transit line that is currently available in Europe and is scheduled to hit American shores in the summer of '09. This news, while interesting, should come as anything but a shocker, consideri

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