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Ten years ago, people rarely asked Greg Martin about fuel economy when they were looking to buy a car. Now, when they come into the Coccia Ford Lincoln dealership where he serves as general manager, it’s the first thing they ask about.

Martin is applying for permission from Ford to sell electric cars. He should know next year if the dealership is selected.

“I think this is the future,” he said. “I don’t think the future’s that far away.”

In one or two years, Martin expects to see more electric vehicles on the road and more charging stations for those vehicles,

Ford brought some of those vehicles to the area Friday as part of a nationwide marketing tour. Parked in the lot of The Cafe, 1120 Highway 315 in Plains Township, and available for test drives were a Focus Electric, a Fusion Hybrid, a Transit Connect, an Explorer and a Fiesta. Ford engineer Anthony Della Zanna flew from Michigan to help explain the latest offerings.

The Focus and Fusion use electricity to start and to drive at low speeds. When the cars reach higher speeds, internal combustion engines power them. Braking recharges the battery. The Transit Connect uses only electricity. The Fiesta uses gasoline.

Ford wants its cars to have a variety of electric capabilities, said spokeswoman Violet Marley. That makes it more likely that consumers will find a car that fits their needs.

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