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Ford’s electrified vision for Europe includes its Mustang-inspired SUV and a lot of hybrids – TechCrunch

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Ford of Europe’s vision for electrification includes 16 vehicle models — eight of which will be on the road by the end of this year — the company announced at its Go Further event in Amsterdam.

Those plans include a plug-in hybrid variant of its Kuga SUV, its Mustang-inspired crossover, and a commercial transit van.

Ford’s European electrification strategy is in line with its plans for North America to focus largely on hybrids. For instance, in a separate event on Tuesday Ford took the wraps off its latest generation of the Escape, a 2020 model vehicle for the North American market that is sportier, loaded with technology and, comes with hybrid and electric options.

Last year, Ford ramped up its plans, announcing that it would phase out most cars it sells in North America. Ford will continue to produce the Mustang and focus the rest of its efforts in North America on trucks, utilities and commercial vehicles, as well as a move into electric vehicles.

The operational piece of Ford of Europe’s strategy, which does include a couple of all-electric vehicles in the mix, namely the Mustang-eseque SUV, will be largely led by Stuart Rowley.

Rowley, who took over as vice present and president of the regional outfit on April 1, will be responsible for all operational leadership of the business unit, including acceleration of the European transformation strategy. He reports to Jim Farley, president of Ford Global Markets.

The majority of the vehicles introduced Tuesday at Ford of Europe’s event are either hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicles. Two of those vehicles – a plug-in hybrid Explorer SUV and  a new plug-in hybrid Tourneo for the commercial van market – made their global debuts at the Go Further event.

A plug-in hybrid variant of Ford’s new mid-size Kuga SUV, which will have a 31-mile range for the battery piece of the hybrid picture, was also introduced along with new Fiesta EcoBoost Hybrid and Focus EcoBoost Hybrid models that feature mild-hybrid technology for optimized fuel-efficiency.

Ford focused on the commercial end of the market as well, with plans to bring an all-electric Transit van to Europe by 2021. Ford is bringing a plug-in hybrid version of the Transit van to market this year. This plug-in hybrid will have a 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and Ford’s 1-liter EcoBoost gas engine, which acts as a range extender. The powertrain will have an all-electric (sometimes referred to as a zero-emission driving range) of 31 miles, and a total 310 miles range using the range extender. The vehicle is being trialed in London, with further testing scheduled to start soon in Valencia, Spain, and Cologne, Germany.

The Ford of Europe event confirmed that the often-teased ‘Mustang-inspired’ electric crossover will be more than a North American market. The vehicle, Ford said Tuesday, will be able to travel 600 kilometers, or 370 miles, on a single charge when it comes to market in 2020, an estimate based on European fuel consumption and emissions standard known as WLTP.

The WLTP, or World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure, is a new standard that is supposed to make European fuel economy labels more realistic. (In the past, ranges in Europe were wildly overstated compared to the more conservative EPA estimates. Vehicles in the U.S. use EPA estimates.

Ford has said it’s targeting a 300-mile range for its electric crossover in the United States.

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Bluetti Gives Veterans And Military Personnel A Treat This Memorial Day Weekend

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Bluetti is including some of its best and most versatile power stations up for grabs this memorial weekend with big price cuts. The EP500 (originally $4,599, discounted at $4,399) and EP500 Pro (originally $5,999, discounted at $4,999) may challenge your definition of “portable,” but they are great for instantly providing backup power to a whole house when the grid goes down, especially with their huge 5,100Wh batteries. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the 716Wh EB70S and 537Wh EB55 (originally $599, discounted at $549) won’t break your back with their super portable sizes. Make no mistake, though, they might be small, but they’re big on power and ports.

Of course, Bluetti’s modular power stations are also joining the party. The AC200 MAX and the B230 battery module (originally $3,299, discounted at $3,099) together dish out over 4,000W of pure AC Sine Wave of power. The AC200 MAX can also be charged to full in just two hours by combining both AC and solar inputs. The AC200P (originally $1,599, discounted at $1,499) brings the best of both worlds of power and portability with its 2,000Wh battery capacity, multiple outputs that can power 17 devices all at once, including wireless charging. And, of course, you can even expand that power by connecting a B230 battery module.

Bluetti’s Veterans and Military Benefits Program starts on May 26 at 7:00 PM PDT and ends on May 31 at the same time. It is open to both active personnel and veterans, and they only need to have their status verified through ID.me to get the discounts. Bluetti notes that the program is available for personal use only.

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The Reason The FTC Just Hit Twitter With A $150 Million Fine

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In the FTC order, the commission states that Twitter had access to personal data from more than 140 million users in just the 2014 – 2019 period, which it then shared with advertisers. This was at a time when Twitter’s terms and conditions explicitly stated to its users that this information would be used for the sole purpose of securing their accounts.

According to the FTC and the United States Department of Justice, Twitter began sharing user data with advertisers in 2013 — around the same time it started allowing users to add their phone numbers for two-factor authentication. Before being called out by the FTC, Twitter maintained that it collected phone numbers and email addresses for the purpose of improving account security. Users could, for example, easily reset their passwords, or unlock their accounts using a verified phone number or email address. 

While the average Twitter user likely assumed their phone number and associated data were secure with Twitter, the company disregarded the trust users placed with them and shared this data with advertisers, the FTC orders states.

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Sony Promises A Big PS VR2 Launch Game Lineup

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According to Sony, the more than 20 games the PS VR2 will have available at launch will include both first-party and third-party titles. According to SIE president Jim Ryan (quoted by Video Games Chronicle), the company is investing a considerable amount of money in ensuring that gamers have plenty of titles to choose from. Unfortunately, Ryan didn’t go into detail as to which games we should expect. No matter — we already know of one title being developed specifically for the PlayStation VR2, and from the looks of it, it’s going to be a good one.

“Horizon Call of the Mountain” is a new game set in the “Horizon” universe and it’s currently being made by Guerrilla and Firesprite. As per the official PlayStation website for the title, the story will allow the player to control an entirely new character, but we will also be reunited with familiar characters from the previous games. Just a quick peek at the screenshots shows what appear to be stunning visuals, and the trailer, short as it may be, only builds on that. Provided that the PS VR2 hardware can handle it — and it should, seeing as the game is being made exclusively for that platform – “Horizon Call of the Mountain” could end up being one of the most beautiful VR titles to date. Much like the headset itself, the game also doesn’t have a release date as of yet. However, all signs point to it being worth the wait.

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