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Ford broadens clean energy push, rolls out fusion hybrid taxi

The fast-paced adoption of clean energy technology in the American automotive industry is truly a welcome gesture. And the latest developments indicate the green concept is spreading like wildfire. Complementing the ongoing efforts to revamp its product portfolio, Ford (F) is taking a major step to make the public transit system more energy-efficient and less expensive.

A day after automotive giant General Motors (GM) announced its plan to launch around 20 new electric vehicle models over a period of five years, Ford came up with two new fuel-efficient taxis – one fusion hybrid model and one diesel powertrain model. Though Ford has developed fuel-efficient vehicles that use its unique technology in the past, it is the first time the company is offering a fusion hybrid taxi variant.

Ford is taking a major step to make the public transit system more energy-efficient and less expensive

It is believed that Ford is gearing up to bring a revolutionary change in the taxi market, which has long been one of its strongholds. The idea is to stay relevant by extending the innovations being widely applied in regular passenger cars to the taxi segment.

Of the two new models, the 2019 Transit Connect Taxi and the extra fuel-efficient Fusion Hybrid Taxi, the latter is meant exclusively for livery service. The taxis are designed to offer up to 30 mpg in normal road conditions and are ready for shipment.

According to the company, the new models are a rare combination of reliability, efficiency, and comfort, with the added advantage of saving money. Earlier, Ford had announced its decision to significantly reduce the production of traditional passenger vehicles to be sold in North America.

Of late, the Michigan-based carmaker has been expediting its autonomous program, an area where it is lagging behind main rival General Motors. But, as usual, Ford entered the driver-less segment with a different strategy and tested a self-driving delivery van this week, under a partnership with on-demand delivery service Postmates.

The much-delayed autonomous passenger vehicle program is currently expected to take off in 2021. In the meantime, the company is looking to scale down the production of its less profitable models and focus more on the high-yielding portfolio.

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