The Ford Ranger is set to become Australia’s first ute available as a hybrid from early 2025 – as carmakers scramble to offer more environmentally-friendly workhorses.
This is the biggest shake-up in the diesel-dominated ute market in decades, with Ford getting in early with an announcement before Elon Musk’s Tesla company launches its fully-electric Cybertruck.
While Toyota offers hybrid versions of its RAV4, Corolla and Camry, it is yet to do so on the HiLux ute, Australia’s perennial bestseller, but that could change next year – putting extra pressure on Ford.
China’s GWM is exploring importing into Australia a hybrid version of its Shanhai Cannon ute as early as 2024, which means Ford is facing fierce competition to be first with a hybrid ute.
The Chinese LDV eT60 last year became the first fully-electric ute available in Australia but its $92,990 price tag makes it even dearer the much fancier $86,790 Ford Ranger Raptor with a special suspension.
The all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pick-up truck isn’t coming to Australia, because demand is outpacing supply in the U.S., but Ford is offering the next best thing with the Ranger.
Andrew Birkic, the president and chief executive of Ford Australia and New Zealand, said the plug-in hybrid version of the Australian-designed Ranger would give motorists performance and zero tailpipe emissions.
‘The Ranger Plug-in Hybrid is a best-of-both-worlds solution for work, play, and family – offering customers zero-tailpipe emissions EV driving for short trips, or hybrid performance that delivers incredible on- and off-road performance,’ he said
Source of data and images: dailymail