The Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid electric vehicle was the best-selling PHEV across all segments in Europe during the first half of 2021, and customers are making the most of their vehicles’ 35 miles (56 km) WLTP pure-electric driving range, new data shows.
According to anonymised real-world data from Ford, Kuga Plug-In Hybrid drivers across Europe have so far this year covered 49 per cent of their distance travelled using externally-charged battery power alone.
With 3,628 plug-in Kuga registrations in the UK this year to June, versus 960 in the same 2020 six-month period, the Ford hybrid’s 380 per cent sales growth is almost double that of the UK plug-in market – which is up 200 per cent year-on-year.
Across Europe, the Kuga Plug-In Hybrid achieved more sales in June than any previous month – with more than 6,300 models sold – and now outsells all other models in the Kuga range put together. Through April, May and June this year, Ford sold close to 16,000 Kuga Plug-In Hybrids, over a third more than the next best-selling competitor during the same period.
Sales of PHEV and all-electric passenger vehicles are surging across Europe as growing numbers of customers discover how their driving needs can be comfortably and cost-effectively managed – particularly using at-home charging. PHEV models accounted for 8.4 per cent of all new cars sold in Europe during the second quarter of this year, an increase of more than 255 per cent compared with the same period last year.
“We firmly believe that our customers buy hybrid vehicles to benefit from the advantages of driving on electric power, and this data shows that Kuga Plug-In Hybrid customers are keen to use their cars in EV mode as much as possible,” said Roelant de Waard, general manager, Passenger Vehicles, Ford of Europe. “We are committed to an electrified future for Ford, and the fact that Kuga is the best-selling PHEV shows that our customers want to join us on this exciting journey.”
Kuga Plug-In Hybrid customer usage
Anonymised real-world data collected by Ford to help understand and optimise the PHEV ownership experience provided insights including:
- Drivers are utilising the battery-electric driving capability of their Kuga Plug-In Hybrid to a significant degree. Almost half (49 per cent) of the collective distance travelled this year has been covered using externally-charged battery power alone.
- More than two-thirds of Kuga Plug-In Hybrid customers’ journeys are shorter, local trips of 35 miles (56 km) or less that could be completed using just externally-charged battery power. From more than 633,000 drive days this year, the vehicle made possible more than 420,000 drive days with zero tailpipe emissions. The average daily driving distance was 32 miles (51.5 km), which is less than the vehicle’s 35-mile WLTP pure-electric driving range.
- Customers are confident when it comes to using battery technology and are routinely able to access charging points. For every 100 drive days in a Kuga Plug-In Hybrid there were 89 charging events.
- Customers are taking advantage of overnight charging and cheaper night-time domestic electricity rates to reduce their motoring costs. Thirty-five per cent of charging events took place overnight with a plug-in time of 12 hours or more – twice the six hours required to charge the battery fully from a conventional domestic 230-volt supply. In total, 45 per cent of all charging events took place overnight, demonstrating that customer car charging habits are similar to how they would charge their smartphone or tablet.
Maximising the amount of time spent driving on externally-charged battery power can provide significant financial benefits for drivers. Based on average petrol and domestic electricity prices, a Kuga Plug-In Hybrid driver with an annual mileage of 12,000 miles (19,300 km), could expect to save more than £700 per year.
Ford earlier this year announced that 100 per cent of its passenger vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or PHEV by mid-2026; moving to all-electric by 2030. Earlier this month, the all-new, all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E GT SUV went on sale for the first time, while more than 5,300 Mustang Mach-E vehicles have been delivered to customers in Europe in the second quarter of 2021.
The company’s range of electrified passenger vehicles also includes both mild hybrid and full hybrid versions of the Kuga SUV as well as full hybrid powertrains for the Mondeo Hybrid, S‑MAX Hybrid and Galaxy Hybrid; the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid; and mild hybrid powertrains for the Puma, Fiesta and Focus EcoBoost Hybrid models.
Powered by a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine and an electric motor generator with a 14.4 kWh lithium-ion battery, the Kuga Plug-In Hybrid offers up to 35 miles WLTP pure-electric driving range, fuel efficiency 201.8 mpg WLTP and CO2 emissions from 32 g/km WLTP. The vehicle can be charged using an external power supply via a side-mounted charging port in the left front fender.
Drivers can choose how and when to deploy battery power using EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge modes. In addition to charging from an external power supply, the Kuga Plug-In Hybrid can automatically replenish its battery on the move using regenerative charging technology that captures kinetic energy normally lost during braking.