By End of 2014, Only Renault Will Likely Offer More Plug-In Vehicle Options in Europe Than Ford’s 2 or 3

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 5

C-Max Energi to be Sold in Europe in 2014

C-Max Energi to be Sold in Europe in 2014

The Ford Focus Electric is currently available in Europe, though it’s priced so high that it’s not expected to sell in volume.

Focus Electric Rolls Off the Line in Germany

Focus Electric Rolls Off the Line in Germany

The Ford C-Max Energi will launch in Europe in 2014, though we’re not yet sure exactly when in 2014 it will go on sale, nor do we have a clue what price Ford will set overseas for the C-Max that plugs in.

Ford says that the Mondeo Hybrid will launch in Europe next year, too.  That’s not the plug-in version, but on the horizon we see the Mondeo Energi (aka Fusion Energi in the States) following the Hybrid version in Europe.

If that turns out to be the case, then only Renault will offer more plug-in vehicle options in Europe than Ford’s 3.  Renault has what we count as 4 plug-in vehicles (Zoe, Fluence Z.E., Kangoo Z.E. and Twizy).  We exclude the multiple variants of the Kangoo Z.E. and Twizy from our calculation of 4.

Why the plug-in offensive by Ford in Europe?  We haven’t a clue.  Ford’s plug-ins sell in relatively low volume in the US (the world’s #1 plug-in market), so we don’t expect them to fare well in Europe where plug-ins struggle to gain a foothold.

Here’s what Ford of Europe’s vice-president of product development, Barb Samardzich, says is going on:

“Ford is leveraging our global experience and expertise to roll-out a range of electrified vehicles that offers a wide and compelling power of choice.  European customers care deeply about the environment and are increasingly seeing electrified vehicles as a way of balancing those concerns with a commitment to car ownership.”

But still, why the intense and immediate focus on Europe?  We don’t understand.  Do you?

What we’d rather see from Ford is a dedicated electric vehicle to replace the compromised (mostly in regards to cargo space) Focus Electric.  If Ford could pull that off successfully, it would have an offering that could potentially take down the Nissan LEAF in the US.  Don’t you think?

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5 responses to "By End of 2014, Only Renault Will Likely Offer More Plug-In Vehicle Options in Europe Than Ford’s 2 or 3"

  1. scottf200 says:

    And why are they building them in Germany if they are not pushing them. Some funny stuff in play here. Picture: “Focus Electric Rolls Off the Line in Germany”

    1. Bloggin says:

      It is more cost effective to build the Focus Electric in Germany than to import it from the US. The production line in Germany, is like MAP in Chicago, where they can build the Focus, Focus Electric and C-Max Hybrid and Energi that share the same platform, all on the same line. Which offers the flexibility to change the mix to meet demand. So Ford is benefiting from the economies of scale to keep costs down.

      Just like in the US, EVs are a loss for the manufacturer, it’s especially true in Europe where the economy is still recovering. Which is why the Focus Electric is being made available for order at dealerships, along with being marketed to fleet/companies that do have the resources to purchase/lease the EV. Which puts the EV in the hands of consumers/employees without having to pay for the vehicle. A smart move on Ford’s part.

      The C-Max Energi will be a mass market vehicle, marketed like a hybrid to the public, along with fleet. It’s lower price and lack of full EV range restrictions(no lifetime battery rentals), along with meeting low CO2 restrictions for many European cities make it a nice EV upgrade from hybrid. Same as in the US.

      With Ford being the #2 selling brand in all of Europe, behind #1 VW, it looks like Ford has a good handle on what the European market is asking for, and not trying to ‘push’ anything on consumers.

      MY2016/17 will being a next gen Focus and C-Max. Both will continue to ride on a shared platform, that should better allows for battery storage in the undercarriage and allowing for more cargo space. We may also see a next gen Fiesta EV to compete with smaller, less expensive EVs.

      But until battery prices drop and a 200+ mile EV is under $30k, a dedicated electric vehicle will continue to be a low volume, unprofitable revenue drain.

      But Renault sees Ford coming with the Mondeo Hybrid and C-Max Energi, which is why Renault is changing course, and trying to get into the Hybrid and plug-in hybrid market, where we may see one or more of their EV models discontinued leading up to the launch of a hybrid or plug-in hybrid.

  2. Suprise Cat says:

    No. Volkswagen offers more plugins. e-up!, e-Golf, e-tron, Panamera S E-Hybrid.
    Same for Daimler: Smart ED, A class with Tesla drive, S class hybrid plugin

  3. Bloggin says:

    Renault’s transition to more profitable hybrids has begun.

    “The French government has given Renault €20.5 million (roughly $27.7 million) to develop a diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain capable of powering large commercial vans. ”

    Read more at http://www.leftlanenews.com/renault-gets-27m-in-aid-to-develop-dieselelectric-van.html#Fv6FdiupY9zrQdc4.99

    1. Bloggin says:

      Interesting Note: The government of France owns 15.7% of Renault since 1984. With Renault/French Government having a 43.3% stake in Nissan, and Nissan having a 15% stake in Renault.