Ford's director of global electrification, Nancy Gioia, spoke on several occasions at the Plug-In 2010 conference in San Jose, CA this past week and though she often reiterated the company's well-known plans for electrification, she also revealed Ford's long-term strategies that she believes will drive the company to the front of the pack in advanced technology vehicles while maintaining Ford's focus on affordability. Gioia discussed the company's commitment to electrified vehicles by stating:
We have now embedded electrification...including hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles, any vehicle where electricity directly displaces oil or a liquid fuel...This is strategic. This is not just an image vehicle, or an image technology. It's not a science experiment. It is embedded into the fabric of our company, along with other technologies...Long term we see electrification as part of the fuel diversity plan going forward.
Gioia moved on to a discussion regarding Ford's choice to use existing vehicle platforms for the basis of upcoming electric vehicles. As Gioia noted, the use of existing platforms simplifies the production process and helps Ford focus on its core aspect of affordability:
During this volatile period, by utilizing our highest volume platforms, by having common parts between hybrids and plug in hybrids we are doing the most to make this as affordable as possible during a very dynamic time.
Gioia closed with a discussion regarding the future of battery technology and how advancements will take time, but reiterated that Ford is into electrified vehicles for the long haul:
We must have a constancy of purpose. Changing the fuel source and changing the energy paradigm is not something we can switch back and forth every two, three or four years based on election periods. There must be a national and actually global constancy of purpose on this journey. We are on a marathon, a 50-year journey, we are not on a 3-5 year journey. This takes an enormous amount of staying power.
Here's hoping that 50 years from now, we can look back and clearly see that Ford stayed true to its long-term goals of moving towards an electrified future.