Ford of Europe will work with the UK government and London city officials to test out Ford Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid utility vans in the city this fall. The "multi-million pound project" will include a 4.7 million euro ($5 million) grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre. The trial will involve 20 new plug-in vehicles that will be test-run over a 12-month period.

The Ford Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid can go as far as 31 miles on electric power alone, per the more lenient NEDC driving cycle, so it's being tested as a method of reducing pollution among utility vehicles that travel through London each day. Commercial vehicles collectively cover as much as 8 million miles on 280,000 journeys through London each day (that comes out to about 29 miles per journey, which strikes us as mighty convenient math). In addition to the government, the trial will also involve some local businesses.

Ford is spending about $4.5 billion to expand its stable of plug-in vehicles over the next few years, and plans to introduce as many as 13 electric vehicles globally within the next five years. The Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid will be on sale starting in 2019. Ford also said earlier this month that, among other plug-ins, it would start testing as many as 20 Transit Connect Hybrid taxis throughout New York and other US cities. Other green-car introductions by the Blue Oval include a Mustang Hybrid and an F-150 Hybrid, both of which are slated to debut in 2020. There's also a compact crossover electric vehicle and some hybrid police cars also in the works.

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