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Ford has hinted that the replacement of its electric Focus will be a standalone model similar to that of the BMW i3 and the Nissan Leaf.
Rather than producing a mainstream Ford model fitted with batteries and electric motors, according to a company insider Ford has said that its next-generation electric and plug-in hybrid cars will be bespoke models.
At present, a variant of the popular Ford Focus hatchback is the only electric car on sale by the company, offering a competitive 110-mile range and costing £28,580 (including the £5,000 Government grant).
Moving forward, the company feels that many electric car buyers are looking to drive something that sports the latest technology, hence its plans to follow the examples already set by rival electric cars such as the Nissan electric-only Leaf and BMW’s ‘i’ range.
In addition to the new range of bespoke electric and lug-in hybrid cars expected from Ford, the company will also offer conventional hybrid versions of its mainstream models. However, according to the company insider, Ford won’t include a range-extended electric car with an on board generator like the Vauxhall Ampera. Instead it believes that plug-in hybrids are the way forward for the future.
Choosing the price will prove crucial to the success or failure of Ford’s future electric models, but this is helped by the Government’s grant scheme which helps motorists to buy electric cars by offering every buyer a £5,000 grant against the cost of purchasing one.
Despite rumours that suggest the Government funding for electric cars is down to less that one quarter of a million pounds, a Government spokesman told The Telegraph online:
“The grants will continue at their current level until 2017 or until we have received 50,000 claims (the number currently stands at just over 14,000). Arrangements beyond that have not yet been set as they will need to reflect market conditions at the time, but we will ensure that we have the right support in place to continue growing this important sector.”