Think green with Ford’s city scheme

Readers of The Engineer in London might want to help Ford test out its electric cars this summer in a pilot programme on green transport.

Ford is looking for 15 businesses to run one of the company’s new battery-powered ‘Think’ city cars for a token cost. Users will be asked to give feedback on how the car performs and how they may have helped with urban transport problems.

Jakob Alkil, Ford vice-president in charge of Think sales and marketing said the plastic-bodied car was likely to be used for light delivery work or local travel.

The car, which has a range of 53 miles, is in production at a plant near Oslo. Ford purchased the manufacturer, Pivco, three years ago. The car sells for £10,500 in Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, and next year it will go on sale in Italy, France and Switzerland. No date has been set as yet for its launch in the UK.

The car forms part of Ford’s involvement with Friends of the Earth and Transport Action Powershift, the government agency formed to encourage the development of more environmentally friendly vehicles.

The pilot was announced last week with the launch of the Carbon Trust, chaired by Ian McAllister, chairman of Ford of Britain. The trust, created by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, will provide £130m in climate change levy receipts for energy research.

The launch included demonstrations of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered Ford Focus and other vehicle prototypes that make use of ‘green’ energy technology.

Vehicles on show included a Ford Ka running on ethanol and a Galaxy MPV people carrier that runs on petrol or natural gas.

Contact Erika Stott on +44 (0) 1277 251892.

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