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Ford to start UK electric Focus trials

Scottish and Southern Electricity (SSE) and Strathclyde University have teamed up with Ford to put a fleet of prototype Focus electric vehicles on trial.

Based around the current Focus model, the prototypes will use elements of the technology under development for the new Focus Electric.

The trial will start in summer.

In addition to SSE, a number of fleets based in Middlesex will also evaluate vehicles.

The electric vehicle demonstration fleet is being created partly with public funding from the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board which promotes innovative industry-led projects that reduce CO2 emissions.

The trial is intended to test electric’s suitability and to gain greater insight into customer charging behaviour prior to the launch of an electric Focus in 2012.

“Collaborating across sectors is essential to ensure customer focused products that provide the right value along with the readiness of the infrastructure,” said John Fleming, Ford of Europe chairman and CEO.

“We need to work and learn together and Ford is very pleased to be a part of these important trials.”

Nigel Sharp, Ford of Britain managing director, added: “Electric vehicles are an exciting proposition but there are questions such as is it affordable, how do you deliver it and is it sustainable. There’s also the complexity of building, buying, delivering and maintaining them.”

Ford has also announced plans to launch an electric Transit Connect next year and two hybrid models and one plug-in hybrid in 2013. Those models will be C-D sector cars.

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