Plug-in vehicles are all the rage right now – witness the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and Ford Transit Connect Electric all coming to market between now and the end of the year. Unfortunately, electric and hybrid vehicles carry a significant price premium over conventional models (most of the time) so automakers like Ford are looking for more cost-effective improvements that can be applied to millions of conventionally powered vehicles.
GM thinks that it has learned the lesson not to fall behind on technology and won't make that same mistake again. It's for this reason that the Volt is such a big deal for the automaker. Depending on how the next few years play out, though, we will either look back on Ford and realize just how smart the company was or just how deeply its head was stuck in the sand. It seems that Ford believes it has a solid position in hybrid technology and doesn't see an immediate need to be a leader in the dev
On Monday July 9, the CEOs from Ford and Edison International are scheduled to make an announcement about a plug-in hybrid project. Although no further details are available right now, it seems likely that Ford will supply some plug-in hybrid vehicles for Southern California Edison to test in their service area. We'll keep you posted as information becomes available.
Ford's director of hybrid programs, Nancy Gioia delivered a speech at the Automotive News World Congress, in Dearborn and revealed that Ford is considering building a plug-in hybrid vehicle. So far, Ford's hybrid efforts have been limited to the Escape/Mariner/Tribute, although a Fusion hybrid is under development and should be available some time in 2008.