Ford CEO says plug-in hybrids are 5-10 years away

Ford tried to get a boost in the green auto sphere with its big plug-in hybrid announcement yesterday. But for a lot of people, the announced 20-test-vehicles-by-2009 routine is too little, too late. With the speed that competitors like GM and smaller automakers like Tesla are moving, I don't think Ford CEO Alan Mulally did his company any favors when he said yesterday that PHEVs are five to ten years away.

It's not that I'd be against having Ford plug-in hybrids in the showroom in 2012, but we all know that another company will beat Ford in the plug-in game by that time, especially if 2012 becomes 2017. Everyone mentions the need for better lithium-ion batteries, and Mulally is no exception. If Ford wants to compete in the plug-in race (and their modest tests make it seem like that's a big if), perhaps they should reserve a bit of their publicity muscle for the upcoming announcement of who will make the batteries for the Southern California Edison test PHEVs.

[Source: Reuters / Bernie Woodall]

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