Ford of Europe’s head of commercial vehicles has given the brand’s firmest commitment yet to launch a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Ford Ranger before the end of 2024.

In an interview conducted by Automotive News Europe, the Blue Oval’s general manager of commercial vehicles Hans Schep confirmed the program, though he didn’t elaborate on whether a fully-electric Ranger (a smaller the F-150 Lightning) was also in the works.

The confirmation was given in the context of Ford’s electrified van rollout. It currently sells a Transit Custom PHEV and has electric versions of the wider Transit range coming to Europe soon.

MORE: Ford F-150 Lightning EV nets 44,500 pre-orders

While the development of a Ranger PHEV is no great surprise, Schep’s interview gives the surest confirmation yet the new-generation Ranger that’s now deep in development will pick up a PHEV option in the first half of its life cycle.

Although the Euro Ranger is to be built in South Africa, not Thailand like the local model, Ford Australia’s starring role in the Ranger’s development puts us in a strong position to take a full range of engines when the new ute launches.

It’s our understanding that the Ranger PHEV will pair a 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with a plug-in hybrid system (battery and motor/s).

Data hasn’t been officially confirmed, but we have reported the drivetrain will produce 270kW of power and 680Nm of torque, and is expected to offer a combined fuel economy of 3.0 litres of fuel per 100km.

Like all PHEVs there’ll be enough pure electric range for many daily errands.

The new Ranger and Everest are expected to launch with an overhauled engine range beyond just the PHEV, by the way.

The entry-level engine is expected to be a 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine, while a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 engine will be available in high-end variants. A 2.7-litre EcoBoost turbo-petrol engine is also likely to feature in the Ranger Raptor.

As part of its transition to an all EV lineup, Ford says by the middle of 2026 all of the models in its European range will be capable of zero tailpipe emissions, meaning every vehicle will have at least a plug-in hybrid or electric drivetrain.

Australia will almost certainly be on a different timeline. Ford Australia has issued the following statement:

Electric vehicles are a big part of our future, both in Australia and our other markets: Globally, Ford is investing at least US$30 billion (almost $AU39 billion) in electrified vehicles through 2025; we’ll share more about our local rollout plans soon; and our company is already making big changes so we will be carbon neutral by 2050.We’re pleased to see a growing appetite for EVs in Australia, and we’re taking a considered approach to electrification to make sure we get our offering right for our customers.

Ford owners are very clear that they expect toughness, performance and capability from our vehicles, and so our focus is on offering EVs that meet those expectations.

Ford Australia’s EV line up will grow quickly, first with our Escape PHEV SUV and soon with other BEVs and electrified models.

We’ll share details about these in due course.As we accelerate our EV plans, we’re aware of the importance of visible investment in the infrastructure that supports EVs, like charging networks, to help build consumers’ confidence in this emerging technology.

MORE: 2022 Ford Ranger and Everest to go hybrid: Everything you need to know

Mike Costello
Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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