Internal combustion engines are set to fall by the wayside by the end of this decade - at least, that could be the outlook if Ford joins a chorus of other brands in ditching the format in favour of electric vehicles.
Earlier this week, the American car giant announced that its European operations will see it move to produce only hybrid and electric vehicles by mid-2026, after which it will centre its offer on just electric vehicles within its SUV and passenger vehicle line-up by 2030.
That means some of the names set to move towards a greener fuel technology are the Ford Mustang, Ford Focus and Ford Escape, among a number of others. It's also worth noting that some of the top-spec sports editions from this line-up are included, marking a new direction for the company. As part of its transition, Ford of Europe is investing US$1 billion into its factory in Cologne, Germany, to build up its assembly capabilities to take on EV production for the continent.
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How does this effect Ford Australia?
Another move on the cards is the electrification of Ford
's commercial vehicle line-up, which includes names like the Ford Ranger
, as well as the Ford Transit
. Both highly-popular cars down under, there will be a transition to plug-in hybrid and all-electric options by 2024, although by 2030 the brand anticipates that two-thirds of its European commercial sales will be electric vehicles. Note that this timeline isn't quite as firm or strict as that of Ford
's passenger vehicles, which is likely due to the current reliance on diesel and petrol-powered engines in commercial vehicles.
It raises a tricky and uncertain prospect for Australian new car buyers, who likewise, have long favoured the thirsty versions of Ford
's expansive line-up, most notably the diesel-run Ford Ranger
, which is a regular number two in the charts of Australia's best-selling cars each month. At this stage, it's hard to envisage Australian new car buyers flocking to a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid that has been touted as under development. Nonetheless, it's still expected Ford
Australia will feel the pressure to introduce the next-generation fuel technology in its leading model, which could be as early as 2022.
It's widely common knowledge, however, that the European market is often seen as a precursor for movements in the new car industry in Australia, so the developments of the next few years could have a profound impact on dictating what choices are presented to local new car buyers.
Would you buy a hybrid Ford Ranger