Ford Australia has announced it will add a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) model to its Ranger bakkie line-up in early 2025.
The carmaker said the Ranger PHEV will combine electric driving capability with the “versatility” and “dependability” that its customers expect from a Ranger.
The PHEV Ranger will deliver the highest torque of any model in the range thanks to a 2.3-litre EcoBoost turbo petrol engine paired with an electric motor and rechargeable battery system.
“It can be driven in pure electric mode for more than 45 kilometres, without using a drop of fuel or producing tailpipe emissions, helping customers save at the pump,” Ford said.
The electric-only range would be sufficient for many South African commuters, who travel an average of 44km between home and work every day.
The targeted maximum braked towing capacity of the Ranger PHEV is 3,500 kg – the same as the rest of the Ranger line-up.
In addition, the Ranger PHEV will feature 4×4 driving capability, selectable drive modes, and advanced driver safety and driver assist features available in the fuel-power models.
“The first-ever Ranger plug-in hybrid will mark a significant step forward in Ford’s plans to offer a wide range of powertrain options for customers in the mid-sized pick-up segment,” said Ford Australia and New Zealand president and CEO, Andrew Birkic.
The Ranger Hybrid also supports Pro Power Onboard, Ford’s name for vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability. This allows for the use of electric car batteries as power sources for other appliances.
Ford said Pro Power Onboard can power tools and appliances on a worksite or remote campsite by plugging them into power outlets embedded in both the cargo bed and the cabin.
In the South African context, some households might want to use the capability to provide backup power during load-shedding.
It is unclear how feasible the latter will be or how much energy the battery would be able to provide.
Peugeot also offers 45km of full-electric range in its plug-in hybrids, which feature 13.2kWh batteries. That capacity is close to what’s available in a Tesla Powerwall.
Ford said it would reveal the electrical output specifications of the feature closer to the Ranger PHEV’s launch date.
At the time of publication, it was not known whether the Ranger PHEV will be available in South Africa.
The Ranger PHEV will be Ford Australia’s fifth new energy vehicle, joining the Mach-E, E-Transit, E-Transit Custom, and Puma BEV.
In South Africa, the company is yet to offer any fully-electric or hybrid models.
Some of the current Ranger models sold in Australia are manufactured at Ford’s Silverton plant in Pretoria.
Drive.com.au reports that the Ranger PHEV is expected to be assembled at this plant, although it said this still needed to be confirmed.
Should this be the case, it seems unlikely that Ford would not sell the Ranger PHEV in South Africa, particularly as the overall popularity of the brand makes it one of South Africa’s top sellers.
However, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are also assembling plug-in hybrid models in South Africa, which are exclusively exported to other markets.