Hybrids have always been a mixed blessing for carmakers. On one hand they show that a carmaker is genuinely interested in improving the environment, but on the other hand hybrids are very expensive to build, their improvements in fuel economy aren’t enough to justify their extra cost, and most consumers aren’t yet willing to pay this premium. One of the carmakers that has lost out on both fronts is Ford. Like Toyota, which is largely recognized as the hybrid company, Ford was also one of the first to launch a hybrid model. However, unlike Toyota Ford doesn’t have a strong green image and to make matters worse its hybrid program is unprofitable.

Fortunately for Ford, this is all about to change because the carmaker has announced that by the end of this year its hybrid program will be profitable for the first time. Speaking with AutoWeek, Ford's director of sustainable mobility technologies and hybrid vehicle programs, Nancy Gioia, said cost savings from improved batteries, upgrades to the electrical system and less complex controls means hybrids no longer have to be a money loser.

The technology is proving so cost-effective that this year will see the launch a hybrid Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, and there plans for even more green models in the near future. One of these future models will be a hybrid vehicle powered by the new EcoBoost powertrain.