It's electric: Ford unveils 2010-12 EV and plug-in hybrid plans

General Motors may have sparked the green car revolution in Detroit with the Chevrolet Volt, but Ford has no plans to let its cross-town rival hog the entire electric vehicle segment. Earlier today at the Detroit Auto Show Ford outlined its electric vehicle plans, which includes a production EV model by 2010.

Ford has been noticeably quiet about its electric and plug-in vehicle plans, but the Blue Oval had a big coming out party during the 2009 NAIAS. The Dearborn-based automaker announced a far-reaching electric and hybrid-vehicle plan that will see the company's first pure EV on the roads in 2010.

Ford's first foray into the EV segment will be a commercial van intended for fleet use. Although details on the electric van remain scarce, it would seem logical that the electric van will be based on the upcoming Ford Transit.

Ford's next big step into the electric vehicle market will come in 2011. The company plans to have a Focus-sized electric vehicle to market by 2011, with initial sales targeted for urban areas. The 2011 EV will use lithium-ion batteries and have a range of about 100. Early production will be limited, with only 5,000 to 10,000 examples planned for the car's first year on the market. However, production is expected to be ramped up in subsequent years.

A Fusion-sized EV is also in the works, but no timeframe has been set for that car as of yet.

Following the 2011 EV, Ford will launch a range of second-generation hybrids, including plug-in hybrid models. Ford's second-generation hybrids will use lithium-ion batteries and should post fuel economy figures that make the new Fusion hybrid look like a gas hog.