Ford hybrids are outperforming petrol cars in one key area

Once viewed as a stepping stone from combustion engines to electric power, hybrid vehicles still have a big role to play in the automotive industry according to Ford’s global boss.

Electrek reports comments from Ford CEO Jim Farley at a US conference detailing the role of hybrids in the Blue Oval’s lineup.

“We should stop talking about it as transitional technology,” Mr Farley reportedly said

“Many of our hybrids in the US are now more profitable than their non-hybrid equivalent.”

According to The Detroit News, Mr Farley includes range-extender (EREV) vehicles – which run on electric power but use a combustion to recharge their battery pack – in the hybrid outlook, so long as governments are willing to classify them in the same way as electric vehicles (EVs).

“EREVs in the USA could offer [190km] of all-electric [driving range], and they drive like EVs,” Mr Farley told conference attendees. 

“They don’t drive like combustion engine vehicles, so you get an EV, and you have [1120km] of range. You don’t have range anxiety for a long trip. You don’t have to rely on any charges. And those vehicles have half the batteries, so they’re very profitable.”

“We’re going to have to talk to all the regulators, because they really bet on pure EVs, but EREVs in China are really the growing part of the EV market.”

Mr Farley’s most recent comments about electrifying Ford’s model range comes just a handful of months after the carmaker began to slow down its EV rollout, instead focusing on high demand for hybrids in the US.

In 2023, sales of hybrid Ford vehicles in the US rose by 25 per cent on the year prior. Mr Farley claims they will increase by 40 per cent this year due to the popularity of the Maverick and F-150 pickups.

Ford sold 17,997 hybrid vehicles in the US throughout April, a 60 per cent increase on the same month in 2023 and a new monthly record.

The facelifted F-150 – the best-selling vehicle in the US for decades – is now available in the USA with the option of a hybrid for its 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine as a no-cost option, which led to a 93.6 per cent increase in sales during April.

Last month, Mr Farley ruled out producing an all-electric version of the Mustang coupe – but admitted Ford has been developing hybrid versions of its iconic pony car, believing “partial electric powertrains work well for performance drivers”.

Ford is yet to launch a traditional hybrid vehicle in Australia, instead leaning on plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology in its now-discontinued Escape SUV, as well as the upcoming Ranger PHEV.

Meantime, its Australian EV lineup currently consists of the E-Transit van and Mustang Mach-E SUV, both of which received significant price cuts last week, while the Puma Gen-E is due later this year.

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