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Ford CEO talks up e-car future

Alan Mulally speaks out on platforms, prices and power generation

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Interview Ford's five-year e-car plan will see the motor maker's eco-friendly vehicles spring from its existing lines, not as new, bespoke designs, company CEO Alan Mulally has told Reg Hardware.

Speaking one-on-one to Reg Hardware just ahead of his CeBit keynote yesterday, Mulally revealed that the battery powered members of Ford's C1 global platform will share 80 per cent of their components with their petrol and diesel counterparts.

Ford e-Focus

Ford's battery powered Focus: coming to Blighty early next year

A wholly battery-powered Ford Focus will hit European showrooms early in 2012 and will be joined the following year by hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the C-Max mini MPV.

Ford has been criticised for basing its e-cars on existing platforms rather than starting with a clean sheet of paper. Ground-up designs are considered by some pundits and manufacturers to be a better way of maximising the EV's environmental and performance credentials.

But Mulally said the start-from-scratch approach overlooks the economies of scale the company hopes to gain by using the C1 platform.

Ford e-Focus

Power train: inside the e-Focus

Price is, after all, one of the key barriers e-cars have to overcome if they are to attract ordinary buyers. Government hand-outs will only go so far. Reducing the cost of design and production is essential if battery and hybrid models are to be placed within reach of mainstream consumers.

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Next page: Price fighting

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