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Ford to build hybrid-only minivan for release in 2012

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — Ford is making a minivan that will become its first U.S. vehicle sold only as a hybrid.

Ford sells hybrid versions of some gas-powered cars, but it's got nothing like the Toyota Prius, which is only sold as a hybrid.

Ford's minivan is based on a five-passenger van, the C-Max, which is already sold in Europe but runs on gasoline.

Ford had planned to introduce a seven-passenger, gas-powered C-Max in the United States next year. But it's scrapping that so it can build more hybrid-only C-Maxes. The van goes on sale next year.

The minivan will get more than 41 miles per gallon. A plug-in version will also be sold. It will be similar to the Chevrolet Volt, which can drive in all-electric mode but has a backup gas engine.

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