Ford tests electric prototypes in Europe

Ford’s Product Development team is participating in two European trials to demonstrate all-electric vehicles in real world driving conditions and to generate feedback to help refine the Focus Electric and the Transit Connect Electric for market acceptance in Europe.

2011 U.S.-market Ford Transit Connect Electric.

In the U.K., a consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and Strathclyde University is preparing later this year to run a fleet of Ford Focus battery electric vehicle prototypes, based around the current Focus model and using elements of the technology under development for the new Focus Electric. The vehicles will be used for evaluation by both SSE and a number of fleet and private customers based in Hillingdon, Middlesex, from mid-2010.

This U.K.-based demonstration fleet is being created partly with public funding from the U.K. Government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which promotes innovative industry-led projects to reduce CO2. The BEV research programme aims to test the technology and to gain greater insight into how customers’ approach charging their electric vehicles.

In Germany, Ford has recently announced its participation in the ColognE-mobil project. This initiative will research the impact of electric vehicles on urban air quality, traffic safety and the electricity supply infrastructure. Scientists will then scale up the results to project how large-scale electrification of private transport could affect German cities.

Ford is one of four partners in the ColognE-mobil project and will provide an early fleet of next-generation Focus Electric vehicles in late 2011.

The other partners in the initiative are utility company RheinEnergie A.G., the City of Cologne and the University of Duisburg-Essen. The ColognE-mobil project is partly funded by the German Government and coordinated by the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Prototype Ford Transit Connect Electric at 2009 Chicago motor show.
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