Ford has invested £36.7 million in preparing its production facility in Valencia, Spain for the introduction of hybrid versions of the S-Max and Galaxy.
As part of the investment, the factory will gain two new assembly lines for the production of lithium ion battery packs for the electrified MPVs and hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants of the new Kuga SUV.
The new versions of the Galaxy and S-Max will use the same powertrain as the Kuga, mating a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle four-cylinder petrol engine to a 48v electric motor and an underfloor battery pack. Power is sent to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Performance details are unconfirmed, but Ford claims the MPV duo have a target output of 197bhp and 155lb ft and will emit around 140g/km of CO2. Both will be capable of running in electric-only mode for short journeys.
Regenerative braking will capture up to 90% of usually wasted energy to charge the battery, while electrically assisted steering, air conditioning, cooling and vacuum systems are said to reduce strain on the engine.
The S-Max will continue to be available in five and seven-seat configurations, while the Galaxy gets seven as standard. The hybrid models can be expected to command a premium over their conventionally fuelled counterparts, which start at £30,490 and £33,210 respectively.
The hybrids will go on sale in 2021, following the completion of the Spanish battery production facility. They’re part of Ford’s commitment to introduce 14 electrified models to its European line-up by the end of 2022.
Ford’s European president Stuart Rowley said: “With electrification fast becoming the mainstream, we’re increasing our investment in Valencia to provide even more electrified models and powertrain options for our customers. By making it easier than ever to transition into an electrified vehicle, we expect the majority of our passenger vehicle sales to be electrified by the end of 2022.”