Ford’s electric car project charges ahead The Detroit News

13 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Ford’s electric car project charges ahead The Detroit News отключены
Ford Electric Cars

Canadian supplier’s prototype drive to bring battery-powered to market in ’11.

DEARBORN It was the ultimate sales pitch.

For Ford Motor Co. and Magna Inc. had been talking an electric vehicle. In September, at the Canadian supplier told they had a surprise. They up in Dearborn in a Ford Focus had bought and converted to battery on their dime, without knowledge.

It was a phenomenal car, Lisa Drake, Ford’s engineer for hybrid programs, that she couldn’t help when she saw it. We were highly, impressed.

So impressed that four months later, otherwise bleak times for the industry, Executive Chairman Ford Jr. stood before the automotive journalists in Cobo to announce plans to bring a car on that prototype to market in

Ford’s electric vehicle has been operating at warp since last summer. It has to, the national debate over economy, emissions and alternative has been accelerating ever gas hit $4 a gallon.

Ford is making up for lost While rivals such as Motors Corp. scored publicity coups with vehicles like the Chevrolet Ford had limited its own investment to a of test vehicles that never meant for public

When gas prices peaked summer, tipping the auto into its nastiest recession in a Ford started gaming out would happen if gas kept

We were modeling $10 a gallon. We modeling $12 a gallon, Drake We decided we need to be ready the time this comes

Ford was confident gas prices skyrocket again, and the company to be sure it had alternatives to offer when that happened. And so M was born: a plan to speed the of an all-electric vehicle that culminate in the partnership with

Ford had the technology. While Volt was puttering around on a cart motor, Ford was plug-in hybrids behind the walls of its Dearborn test

In the summer of 2007, Ford had a partnership with Southern Edison and the Department of Energy to and deploy a test fleet of hybrids. The first of these Ford Escape Hybrids on the road in California by December of year.

The shock delivered by fuel prices also Ford to accelerate the hybrid

Last spring, with half of the planned fleet of 20 delivered, Greg Frenette, the of Ford’s zero emissions programs, told the plug-in team they were a production vehicle. It would go on in 2012. His engineers were

It gave them a sense this was more than an academic exercise, Frenette But this is what we’re to be doing. Moving this production is what this is all

Based on the Escape Hybrid Ford has been selling 2004, the plug-in connects to a wall socket and can go up to 40 mph before its gas kicks in. The test vehicles are 120 mpg in city driving tests and 70 mpg on the under optimum conditions.

The of a plug-in hybrid, Frenette is that it combines the effectively range of a gasoline motor the fuel savings of an electric But having two motors also a lot of cost and complexity to the vehicle.

is why Ford decided to pursue a battery-powered electric vehicle in with the plug-in hybrid it was The production vehicle being with Magna will be on the new global Focus platform, due out in The electric version will no gasoline motor, but will be to a range of 100 miles on a single — enough, Ford because most motorists in average less than 40 a day.

Analyst Jim Hall of 2953 LLP in Birmingham disagrees.


There is not a viable market for a pure vehicle because of the range he said, pointing to studies show most consumers only consider one with times the range of Ford’s. psychological. They’re going to to re-educate consumers.

Ford Electric Cars

But Hall Ford’s strategy makes though he doesn’t believe it was the of high gas prices that Ford. He believes it was the prospect of fuel economy requirements the federal government and even aggressive clean air rules California.

Building electric vehicles the emissions monster off their and it also helps their fuel economy average in a big Hall said.

The new regulations proposed by California, which Barack Obama has signaled he support, would require fleets to meet stringent on emissions. Hall said zero-emission electric vehicle sells would counterbalance a lot of cars and trucks.

Project M is a boon for Magna, said Ted the company’s technology chief.

wants to be a leader and in the forefront of any new being developed, he said, that his company will be to produce most of the components for electric powertrain in-house. could also build the vehicle themselves, if Ford it.

There are very few suppliers who can do a vehicle, Robertson said, and is one of those. It was a great marriage.

The race for electrification

The following vehicles have been by the Big Six:

2009 Toyota: A hybrid Prius (fleet only)

2010 GM: Chevrolet extended-range electric vehicle

Ford: A battery-electric vehicle on the Transit Connect compact van (fleet customers only)

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