How many electric Focuses do you think Ford sold in all of Europe last year? Thousands? Hundreds? The real number is a shockingly low 61, and that is down nine cars from the previous year. It comes as no surprise that Ford will stop building the Focus Electric at its Saarlouis plant in Germany, and will instead import the small numbers it needs for Europe from the USA, according to Automotive News. As a last stretch, the car was given a bigger 33.5-kWh battery pack to lengthen its range almost 50 percent, from 99 miles up to 140 miles, but that didn't help. In the States, the situation is completely different, as Ford managed to move over 900 Focus Electrics in 2016, and during the first quarter of 2017 almost 700 had been sold, says InsideEVs.

The European failure of the Focus Electric now has Ford re-evaluating its strategy. Instead of providing all-electric commuter cars, Ford is switching its focus to hybrid delivery vehicles, starting with a Transit Custom hybrid van to be made available in London later this year. The hybrid version will then enter series production at Ford's Turkish plant in 2019.

Commercial hybrid vehicles are more enticing for Ford as it searches for an electrified profit, and fleet vehicles can be a more direct route for raking in cash, especially since diesel vehicles are currently under scrutiny by European lawmakers. For instance, Norwegian authorities are resorting to banning diesel cars from Oslo streets, and Paris is also eager to ban diesel to cut pollution. Hybrid vans could be a solution to sneak past these limitations, as inner-city deliveries have to be dealt with, one way or another.

Ford has already announced plans for the introduction of 13 new electrified vehicles globally in the next five years, including a full-electric SUV.

Related Video:

Share This Photo X