Ford’s ElectricCar Gamble (F GE GM HMC TM TSLA)

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Mitsuoka Like Electric Cars

Ford’s Electric-Car Gamble

( NYSE: F ) released some about the launch of its upcoming Electric the other day, and for or worse, the Blue Oval is a somewhat tentative approach to the electric-car maybe-revolution.

Ford that the Focus Electric, an version of the brand-spankin’-new Focus won’t debut until 2011, nearly a year Nissan ‘s Leaf its appearance on these shores. And then, sales of the electrified will be limited to several markets.

For a company that has forward so aggressively in recent one that strives to be seen as an aware innovator. late seems a bit late to the party. Is it for Ford to wait?

Fashionably late

The list of preparing to launch electric in the United States has grown a bit recently. While the Leaf and Motors ‘ ( NYSE: GM ) Chevy Volt will shipping momentarily, suddenly are quite a few more on the way:

parent Fiat is bringing an version of its 500 here, but not until

Mitsubishi will start out a small electric commuter car in the States sometime late year.

Honda ( NYSE: HMC ). seen as an electric-car skeptic, has announced that it will an electrified version of the popular to arrive here in 2012.

( NYSE: TM ) will launch an version of its RAV4 SUV, the fruit of its partnership with Motors ( Nasdaq: TSLA ). in 2012.

What do all of those announcements in common? The day the vehicle will at dealers is at least a year And even Nissan is rolling the out in phases, starting with a few regional markets, and in tiny at first.

Why?

Simple: really knows whether sell .

The electric-car conundrum


they’ll sell somewhat GM and Nissan should have no meeting their modest sales goals, and a few governments and Electric ( NYSE: GE ) have that they’ll be making purchases of electric vehicles. But they sell in genuine numbers? Will Joe and Jane trade their SUVs in for a eco-mobile?

Yeah, I’m skeptical

Mitsuoka Like Electric Cars

Here’s the dilemma: Developing cars and tooling up to produce costs big bucks. And they’re a proposition: They’re expensive for they are, and most autos aside from six-figure Roadster have of 100 miles or less. But costs come down and ranges get longer as battery-makers scale up and better technology.

That’ll as investments increase, and that’ll as more electric cars buyers.

Given all that, it’s not to see why Ford, like most of its is taking a bit of a wait-and-see attitude. is one corner of the auto market ramping up slowly makes a lot of

Ford’s launch plan

has chosen 19 urban markets to in the Focus Electric’s sales and the company said in a statement the markets were chosen on commuting patterns, existing purchase trends, utility collaboration, and local government to electrification.

Limiting the initial to places such as San Francisco and obviously makes a lot of sense, if your goal is to keep (and sales goals) at first: Go where the likely are! If electric vehicles take off in these kinds of they’re not going to take off soon.

In truth, all-electric vehicles are to remain niche products for a even if they are successful. The revolution. if it happens, won’t overnight, or even in the next That’s still a big if, and in that Ford’s wait-and-see rollout an awful lot of sense.

Want to more about Ford? Add it to My which will find all of our analysis on the Dearborn dynamo.

contributor John Rosevear shares of Ford, which is a Fool Stock Advisor You can try Stock Advisor or any of our Foolish services free for 30 days. no obligation. We Fools don’t all the same opinions, but we all believe considering a diverse range of makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy .

Mitsuoka Like Electric Cars
Mitsuoka Like Electric Cars
Mitsuoka Like Electric Cars
Mitsuoka Like Electric Cars

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