The Blue Oval is looking for folks on the other side of this Big Old Sphere to get on board with its hybrid offerings. Ford executive Raj Nair, speaking at the Detroit Auto Show this week, said the US automaker wants to double the number of hybrids models it offers by the end of the decade, Reuters reports. Details of what that actually means is anyone's guess, as it was unclear how many of those models would be in the US and how many would be overseas. That said, Nair did say that prospective customers in regions such as China and Europe would drive the expansion of offerings.

Ford got off to a great start in the US last year on its hybrid sales, but then tailed off towards the end of 2013. Ford more than doubled its green-car sales in 2013 to almost 88,000 units. In that number were more than 37,000 Fusion Hybrids and more than 28,000 C-Max Hybrids sold domestically. The company also sold almost 7,500 Lincoln MKZ Hybrids. Ford's green-car totals for 2013 were up fivefold at the mid-year point, hinting that Ford's hybrid sales plateaued, at least temporarily, in recent months.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      BipDBo
      • 1 Day Ago
      As you've pointed out before, the tech just isn't there yet, and there are a lot of factors that make the idea difficult. I don't think , though that unsprung mass is going to hold them back, though except for in off road high performance vehicles like a Subaru WRX. Often, truckers love big, heavy wheels. Just look at Monster Jam. There's a lot of push for it because it has enormous manufacturing and packaging advantages. If there's a way to make them work reliably, someone will figure it out. When they do, a low speed AWD application may be one of the first places it would be used because that would require a much smaller workable rpm range.
      Actionable Mango
      • 1 Day Ago
      Make a PHEV SUV or CUV please. That's where the most gains can be made to MPG anyway.
      BipDBo
      • 1 Day Ago
      It would be really nice to see an effective hybrid drivetrain for heavier duty than small commuter cars. A system that could be powerful enough and offer enough low-end torque for use in the F150 and Transit full sized van, as long as it's affordable, should attract some attention. I think, however, that the hybrid truck of the future will be a huge redesign, much different from current front engine, RWD layout. I foresee a power-split, planetary gear, engine & motor setup, mounted transversely under the hood, powering just the front wheels. Something like the Prius and volt drivetrain, but bigger and more powerful. The rear wheels will be driven by one or two motors that will mainly only engage at lower speeds (say, sub-50 mph) where they can provide lots of boat ramp, tree stump pulling grunt. The front wheels would provide most if not all of the motive force at highway speeds. Two motors on the rear wheels can provide better traction and torque vectoring. Could be good application for hub motors. Rear wheels would likely have independent suspension in this arrangement. The space under the center of the truck, now vacated by the driveshaft, can hold batteries. I'd also like to see an affordable 3 row passenger van. First, start by bringing transit connect wagon production to N America to make the standard version appropriately priced at least near the price of the larger Caravan and well below the Sienna and Odyssey. Then drop in the hybrid drivetrain form the C-max and c-max energy.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Day Ago
        @BipDBo
        Hub motors mean for very high unsprung weight which can hurt ride quality and can also cost more than a higher efficiency motor and gear reduction setup.. due to the lower rotational speed of the motor, it just needs to be oversized quite a lot. I know that hub motors sound cool.. and have a nice packaging aspect.. but there are lots of negatives. But i do most definitely agree with having a hybrid system where the electric motor outputs power to the rear wheel for a sort of low speed 4 wheel drive. When you have got some major snow and ice on the road, that's where you could really benefit from that 4 wheel drive power. Eliminating the driveshaft would allow the truck to sit lower, thus handle batter, and yes, batteries could be fitted in some of the space freed up.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @BipDBo
        Surely something along the lines of Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV drivetrain would do the job? http://www.mitsubishi-motors.com/publish/pressrelease_en/motorshow/2012/news/detail0853.html
          BipDBo
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          Correct, but in a more robust form. I believe that the Toyota Highlander hybrid also has a very similar AWD system Under current conditions, I think a system would be preventatively expensive for the pick-up market, but that may change. Such a drivetrain may be best suited for a unibody truck design like the Honda Ridgeline. Like it or not, unibody will likely eventually become mainstream for light duty trucks.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Day Ago
      It's good to see Ford Motors, slowly and conservatively , but steadily regaining it's position as one of the worlds leading auto-manufacturers. Only a decade ago Ford was written of by the pundits, (and shareholders) as a company that would be extinct by 2010. Today, Ford is far from extinct, and each year becomes stronger and more profitable, although Ford must remain cautious as the corporation lack's the capital resources of Toyota, VW etc. It's easy to forget that Ford's Chairman, William Clay Ford jr, was an EV and environmental pioneer, long before it became fashionable.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Marcopolo
        That's because they had powertrains designed in the 1990's, up to a standard of technology of the 1980's still being put into 2007-2008 cars. Also, their car design was definitely 'malaise era' American style.. panel gap galore, laughable aerodynamics, fit and finish.. The new engines from 2008-2010 were such a big leap just because the old SOHC powerplants were so crappy. I thought they would be circling the bowl too. I think Mr. Mullaly has been really good for them.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          2 wheeled menace Alan Mulally has proved to be a brilliant choice as CEO. Jac Nasser, and the institutional shareholders, including the banks, nearly destroyed Ford Motors. It was the courageous determination of Bill Ford jnr, in persuading the principal members of the Ford family to overthrow the the Nasser regime, and pursue Bill Fords strategy. Fortunately, Bill Ford jr, realised early enough, that although he could see what was needed, he lacked the administrative and industrial ability to implement the strategy he devised. It was his act of humility, and self-sacrifice that convinced him to hire Alan Mulally and remain as executive Chairman. It's often harder to turn around a giant corporation with a huge amount of debt, and a lot of bad practices, than just start a new enterprise. Ford Motors transformation may still be a work in progress, but results of the renaissance of Ford is becoming tangible.
      • 1 Day Ago
      Well, it shouldn't be that difficoult, in Europe at least. Double of zero is still zero.
      boggin
      • 1 Day Ago
      Technically now Ford offers 3. Fusion Hybrid, C-MAX Hybrid and MKZ Hybrid. MY2015 will bring the Focus Hybrid, then next gen Edge Hybrid and next gen MKX Hybrid. Followed by Taurus Hybrid.
      Spec
      • 1 Day Ago
      Yeah, I'm a bit skeptical on the hub motors. The concept is awesomely cool. However, I worry that people will just not be able to do them in a reliable and cost-effective manner.
      Spec
      • 1 Day Ago
      Yeah . . . . Toyota had the right idea. Too bad you did not do this 10+ year ago when the DoE handed you the technology.
      mikeybyte1
      • 1 Day Ago
      I was surprised that the new Lincoln MKC did not have a hybrid option. Seemed like a no brainer given that it's built on the same bones as the C-Max. They had a chance to really make that compact CUV stand out. It's a great design and has some potent engines, but with the MKZ offering a hybrid I expected the MKC to as well. Maybe down the road.
        Jesse Gurr
        • 1 Day Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        I was wondering about that too. I think it will be offered soon based on purely circumstantial and conspiracy theorist type thinking. On Lincoln's website about the MKC, one of the pictures of the backside has a 2.5 plate on it. There isn't a 2.5 being offered so far, so what does it mean? I think it could mean 4 things: 1) They were maybe thinking about using the normal 2.5 as a base engine when the picture was made and then changed their mind. 2) 2.5 Ecoboost that isn't out yet? 3)2.5 Ecoboost V6 that is the same family as the new 2.7EB V6 for the F-150 4) Hybrid 2.5 similar engine that was used on the original Escape Hybrid.(Please be this one) That is my 2 cents anyway.
      Grendal
      • 1 Day Ago
      Okay then - do it.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Day Ago
      ..in order to meet stricter CAFE regulations that will come into play then.. just like everyone else ;]
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Day Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Automakers sat on some great technology used in Europe and Japan for almost all of the 2000's. Even the Japanese car companies were slacking with developing new tech and MPG was dropping until around 2008 when the CAFE regs jumped way up. Toyota was the only company that was ahead of the game back then, with the Prius.. a 2006 model Prius is still an impressive car today. I wonder what other tech the automakers are holding back on? It is a shame that they won't voluntarily implement it now. The Prius gave Toyota a big edge.. there is some fruit hanging around to be picked in internal combustion efficiency.. i think that Mazda and Hyundai are game to grab it.
          1guyin10
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Back in 1953 or so GM showed a Buick prototype with a lightweight composit body, 4 wheel independent suspension, 4 wheel disc brakes and an aluminum block, fuel injected dual overhead cam engine. Then they went back to Michigan and kept building what they had always built because it was cheaper and people were buying it in droves.
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