Ford Australia’s first plug-in hybrid vehicle has been pushed back to early next year, however the company maintains it won’t be left behind in the electric-car race.
- shares

The Ford Escape plug-in hybrid’s showroom debut has been pushed back to early next year, however its arrival will likely start the local rollout of other Ford electric cars.

Ford Australia originally planned to launch the Ford Escape PHEV (which stands for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) by the end of this year but delays throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed back its arrival.

Although the Ford Escape PHEV will likely be priced close to or in excess of $50,000 – the rival Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV starts from $47,390 plus on-road costs – its arrival will bring plug-in hybrid technology to more buyers.

In a media briefing this week the boss of Ford Australia Andrew Birkic indicated there were no current plans to introduce locally the Mustang Mach E (just launched in the US and the UK, pictured above) or the Ford Evos (unveiled in China last week, pictured below).

However, Mr Birkic added: “Electrification is obviously important. Globally we’re investing $US22 billion out to 2025. It’s a significant step for us.”

While the Ford Australia executive conceded “there were some supply issues … we were hoping to get (the Escape PHEV) a bit earlier” he hinted more hybrid and electric models are around the corner for our market.

“We will start with the Escape PHEV,” said Mr Birkic. “I think we will have some news to share at some point and it will include BEV (a pure electric vehicle).”

However, it is unclear if this means Australia is a possibility for the Mustang Mach E when the initial spike in demand subsides overseas, or if we will get a version of the Chinese-market Ford Evos. Or if there is another model altogether that could headline the rollout of pure electric cars for Ford Australia.

“We will make the decisions where we see demand … and what our customers want,” said Mr Birkic. “Certainly there are some products with higher mixes of electrification (coming) … but we can only control what we control and do our own due diligence (in terms of suitable vehicles).”