Ford Expands UK EV Testing Program

American manufacturer Ford is stepping up its testing of the electric vehicles it plans to release in the near future and announced this week it will expand the range of vehicles currently being tested in the UK.

Ford, with the support of Scottish and Southern Energy, will deploy a version of the Transit Connect to be tested in London's Hillingdon. The fleet of vehicles will be using a charging network which will be installed in and around Hillingdon in 2010 and 2011.

Initially, Ford planned to deploy 15 electric vehicles in London, but by using production-intent powertrains and batteries the carmaker increased the fleet to 21.

The electric Transit Connect packs a 55kW electric traction induction motor and a 28kWh battery pack. It has a range of up to 80 miles and a top speed of up to 75mph. Currently, it takes 10 hours to charge it from a 230 volt electricity supply.

"There is increasing interest among our customers for electrified vehicles and we are responding by stepping up our efforts to bring these models to the marketplace alongside our latest-generation, fuel-efficient petrol and diesel powered models,” Joe Greenwell, Ford of Britain chairman said in a statement.

“Ford is looking forward to working with its project partners on developing this market for electric vehicles both in the UK and Europe."

Ford's electric ambitions will begin to materialize starting 2011, when a first generation Transit Connect Electric will be released onto the market. The light commercial vehicle will be followed in 2012 by the electric version of the Focus, with the eco line-up to be completed in 2013 by the hybrid and a plug-in hybrid C-MAX. Ford also announced an unnamed hybrid will also join the range that same year.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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