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Ford bids to be leader of plug-in vehicle sales

Ford Energi line joins Toyota Prius plug-in, Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf in nationwide sales of electrified cars.
A Tesla Model S P85+ chargers at the supercharger in a parking garage in downtown Normal, Ill. (Robert Duffer)
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Nov. 6, 2013, 12:12 p.m.

By Robert Duffer, Chicago Tribune

There’s a new prominent player in the growing plug-in vehicle market: Ford.

The Ford Fusion Energi sedan and the Ford C-Max Energi crossover sold a total of 2,179 units in October, accounting for the biggest slice of plug-in market share from a single automaker. Ford claims it has 34 percent of the plug-in market share.

While plug-in sales account for less than 1 percent of auto sales, the commitment to electrified vehicles is across the board from automakers, government and consumers. There were more than 39,000 plug-ins sold in the first 10 months of 2013, an increase of 32 percent more than all of 2012, according to the Detroit Free Press. There are 14 plug-in models for sale currently; by next year there will be an estimated 26 plug-ins or fuel cell car models for sale.

The electrified automotive era began in earnest in late 2010 with the national roll out of the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt. The Leaf is a pure electric car that sold 2,002 in October, which is a 26.8 percent increase from last year. Leaf sales may have taken away from the Chevy Volt, an extended range electric vehicle with a gas generator that powers the electric motor when the battery is low. Chevy sold 2,022 Volt in October, down 31.7 percent from last year. Sales of the Leaf are up 166 percent from last year. The Volt is a plug-in hybrid; the Leaf is a pure electric. Anything that can be plugged in is classified as a plug-in vehicle. The difference is in the powerplant.
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