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Ford sees more hybrid and electric cars in its future

Ford is quickly advancing its hybrid and electrical car programs to meet new federal fuel-efficiency standards years before the deadline.

The automaker is training workers at more than 900 dealerships nationwide to sell, maintain and repair hybrid and all-electric vehicles. Two of those dealerships are in Colorado Springs.

Eight service technicians at Phil Long Ford Motor City and others at Phil Long Ford at Chapel Hills are taking web-based training in electric motor and recharging systems specific to Ford vehicles. When that training is completed, the technicians will go to Denver for a two-day, hands-on workshop, said Chris Gasser, service manager at the Motor City dealership.

Eventually, all Ford sales and service personnel will be certified in electric vehicle sales and service.

“For us, it is part of the evolution of Ford,” he said, “and we need to get on it as soon as possible.”

Ford currently sells a hybrid model of its Fusion, C-Max and Focus. Only the Focus can be purchased as an all-electric vehicle at this time. The company is preparing to introduce an all electric Fusion and C-Max model in the future.

The Motor City dealership, at 1212 Motor City Drive, installed an electric vehicle recharging station last week that will be available for use by electric vehicle owners who live in or are traveling through the Springs after it passes city inspections, Grasser said.

So far, sales of hybrids and all-electric vehicles have remained in the single digits at the Motor City dealership, said Robert Barnes, one of three sales managers. But Ford expects sales of those vehicles to increase exponentially, comprising 25 percent to 30 percent of all Ford sales nationwide within the next eight to 10 years as federal mpg guidelines take affect in 2015 and into 2025.
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