Ford Focus C-Max
In 2002 first to use new C Platform
Joel Makower writes that Ford is still on the hook as to delivering on its promise with quality vehicles that people will want to buy. He, nevertheless, sees the recent Ford announcement about hybrids to be a promising start. Of course, what sort of hybrids, Bill Ford, Jr., failed to specify.
A comment by Trevor Parker to the post is worth republishing here in its entirety:
With all due respect, Ford has done this before. Presently, I am looking at a Ford print ad found in a 1992 issue of Family Circle. It shows a picture of Roberta Nichols, Ford Environmental Engineer. She is holding a plug from an electric car. The ad talks about Ford’s responsibility for the environment and talks about how Ford will soon have a fleet of electric cars on the road.
We all know what Ford did to the THINK electric car. They claimed there was not a market for electric vehicles. They did virtually no marketing for the THINK line.
Again, this article was in a 1992 magazine. That is thirteen years ago.
Ford is in trouble. They have done very little to come to market with any kind of real competition for hybrids like the Prius. Toyota has taken the ball and run with it. Ford is so far behind that it will take a miracle for them to catch up.
They can start by putting hybrid technologies in vehicles other than SUV’s and trucks.
Get real folks!
Makower did say, and I should amend my previous post to indicate, that last Wednesday, Bill Ford also said that Ford “would promote flexible fuel vehicles and help build an ethanol infrastructure in the Midwest.” Which is a good thing — while Ford is promoting H2ICE — James Woolsey and the Committee on Present Danger, among others, are on a tear about flex-fuel, plug-in hybrids.
Meanwhile, on the same day of the Ford announcement, something else notable in the development of hybrids took place. As Green Car Journal reports, “a Toyota Prius became the first production hybrid to race across the Bonneville Salt Flats, setting a hybrid speed record of 130.794 mph.”
The Toyota Prius went on sale in Japan in 1997, and in the United States in 2000. Sales of the Prius in the United States should top 100,000 sales in 2005. By 2010 Toyota expects that a quarter of all the cars it sells in America, about 600,000 cars, will be hybrids.
So, Joel Makower believes that greener cars finally seem to be on a fast track to market and that recent announcements by Ford and Toyota about hybrid production goals is an indication that hybrid vehicles have reached a “tipping point”. My question to Felix Kramer of CalCars then is: “With the advent of significant lithium battery production, whether PHEVs will reach a tipping point?”
BTW: I believe the land speed record at Bonneville currently (hee-hee) belongs to an electric vehicle.