Washington, D.C. – Ford Motor Company has announced that it is adding seven utility providers and a new plug-in hybrid battery supplier to its electric vehicle program. The company plans to introduce a family of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles by 2012.

Ford has entered into a partnership with battery producer Johnson Controls-Saft to develop advanced lithium-ion battery systems to power the automaker’s first commercial plug-in hybrid (PHEV). It has also joined with seven regional electric utility partners, located in New York, Ohio, Alabama, North Carolina, Michigan and Massachusetts, to test Escape PHEVs in real-world conditions.

The partnerships will help Ford accelerate its electrification strategy, including bringing a full battery electric van to market in 2010 for commercial use, a small battery electric sedan developed jointly with Magna International by 2011, and a PHEV by 2012. The research into PHEVs will focus on battery technology, vehicle systems, customer usage and grid infrastructure. The companies will also explore the potential for stationary battery application, and the value of energy storage.

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