Ford is yet to be convinced over electric car technology and believes other alternative fuel technologies could win through in time.

An electric version of the Focus is due next year but company chairman William Ford has told a Wall Street Journal conference that the carmaker is continuing to invest heavily in alternatives.

He added: “We still don’t know what the winning technology is going to be… We’re continuing to invest in hydrogen, we’re continuing to invest in biofuels.”

In addition, Ford said that the company has no certainty that an electric grid will be developed that is capable of supporting a large number of EVs on the roads.

“This isn’t a new technology.  Prior to the Model T, a third of all vehicles in the US were electric. The reason it died away was the ubiquity of charging, today we have the same issue.”

Ford said that company had chosen to electrify its mainstream Focus platform as developing a stand-alone vehicle that did not appeal to car buyers would conceivably leave Ford in a position of “having to shove them out the door, somehow, perhaps by having to incentivise the heck out of them.

“It’s a spiral we don’t want to get in anymore,” he added.

According to a survey of the WSJ ECO:nomics conference attendees, half of the respondents said they planned to buy an electric car in the next decade.