Ford launches electric and hybrid cars in Cologne

Ford Motor Group have recently launched a fleet of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in Cologne, Germany, as the car manufacturing giant continues to expand its fleet and embrace the latest developments of the automobile industry.

One of Ford's biggest factories in Europe is found just outside Cologne, making it the perfect city to test out public reaction to electric cars and hybrid vehicles. The fleet consists of 66 vehicles, including the new Ford Focus Electric and the Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, and the performance of the car within the confines of Cologne's infrastructure will also be documented throughout the launch.

The fleet has been launched as part of an ongoing electromobility study: the colognE-mobil research project. Ford Motor Group has invested €13.2 million in the project, and the launch of this fleet of electric and plug-in hybrid cars marks the beginning of the second phase of the study.

The launch of the Ford Focus Electric and the Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid is aimed at improving public perception of electric cars and renewable energy in general. The cars will be used between now and 2015, and Ford of Europe will be keeping a close eye on the performance of the cars and how they affect the daily live of drivers. Organisers of the project will then use this information to make recommendations on improvement to infrastructure and how the cars can be used as e-cabs or in conjunction with public transport.

Bernhard Mattes, Ford of Germany's chairman, has said that the launch of this fleet of electric and hybrid Ford cars in Cologne will help them to develop "even more practical solutions" that can advance Ford's range of electric cars. He went on to say that the project shows Ford's "clear commitment to environmentally responsible mobility", and it is hoped that a range of electric and hybrid vehicles will soon be coming to Ford dealerships across the globe.

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