If you're General Motors, you're focused on promoting the plug-in hybrid nature of the Chevrolet Volt. If you're Nissan, then your message is all-electric for the Leaf. If you're Ford, though, and are going to introduce five new electrified vehicles with a variety of powertrains by 2012, then your messaging is a little more complicated.
Ford Canada chief executive officer, David Mondragon, told a group of people attending a business luncheon at a Toronto-area hotel that electric vehicles (EVs) will account for the slimmest fraction of the market by 2020. Mondragon explains that consumers may opt for more fuel-efficient cars if gas prices creep up, but, he said, buyers will not embrace EVs unless either a dramatic shift in behavior occurs, or prices of battery-powered vehicles drop substantially.
Like it did in the Northwest last month, Ford is getting another area of the country ready for electric vehicles. In this case, it's two cities in Texas – Austin and Houston – where Ford is going to do a lot of consumer outreach and education, not only deploying electric vehicle charging stations. Ford's electric vehicle line-up for the next two years includes the Transit Connect, the Focus EV in 2011, two third-generation lithium-ion battery hybrids (2012) and a plug-in hybrid (201
Ford Motor Company has announced plans to invest $135 million into two of its Detroit-area plants, creating what the company calls a "center of excellence" for electric vehicles (EVs). The investment will be divided between the company's transaxle plant in Sterling Heights, MI and its Ypsilanti battery plant. Combined, Ford says, 220 new jobs will be created including 130 at the transaxle plant, 40 at the battery facility and 50 engineers to be split between the two sites.
The graphical representation above really tells the whole story here, but we'll try to offer up a little extra insight anyway. Deloitte Consulting conducted a widespread survey covering several aspects of the automotive industry, and you can read the whole report here. The graph above illustrates just one finding, but it really paints a picture of the overall results of the survey.
Ford Motor Company's development of upcoming battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) has been, so far, an outside job. Electric versions of the Transit Connect and the Ford Focus were developed with the help of suppliers Azure Dynamics Inc. and Magna International Inc., but Ford has not ruled out producing future BEVs in-house. As Ford's director of electrification programs Sherif Marakby stated:
We heard from Ford CEO Alan Mulally yesterday about his company's overall work with the U.S. government on energy policy. He's not the only Ford representative at the show worth talking to at the Washington Auto Show, though, and we got to sit down with Nancy Gioia, Ford's director of global electrification, for an update on the company's plug-in vehicle projects.