Looking back at Ford's EV past, forward to the 2012 Focus Electric and a 2013 plug-in hybrid

Did you know that Ford's first electric car, the Comuta, was released way back in 1967? It was a perfectly goofy looking thing, with a top speed of 37mph and a range of 40 miles -- if you didn't go near that top speed. More of a concept than anything, only a handful were made available for sale, and at this point it certainly looks like the company's immediate plans for EVs are similarly conservative. DailyTech pulled together an analysis of Ford's future offerings in the electric and plug-in hybrid space and it's obvious the Blue Oval is taking its time making sure the EV water is warm before jumping in. First up is the Transit Connect, a 100 mile range electric van intended for fleet use and, with a price well north of $30,000, not expected to sell in droves. Next will be the Focus Electric, due next year and, while this one will be substantially cheaper and more consumer-friendly, Ford execs expect it too will have low demand.

The primary reason for this is that Ford still believes that pure EVs are not ready for mainstream adoption, with battery technology unable to provide reliable power at the range of temperatures people actually want to go somewhere. The Focus Electric mitigates this with both liquid heating and cooling, but for now the company thinks the best mix is a traditional, power-split hybrid, where the gas engine can drive the wheels if the batteries can't cope. That's unlike the Chevy Volt, which is only driven by batteries. To this end Ford has a new, mystery plug-in hybrid vehicle coming in 2012. What kind of car? All we know is it's "not a Focus." That can mean only one thing: F-350 Super Duty PHEV edition.

[Photo credit: Ford Motor Company]