Ford CEO talks up e-car future
Alan Mulally speaks out on platforms, prices and power generation
Interview Ford's five-year e-car plan will see the motor maker's eco-friendly vehicles spring from its existing lines, not as new, bespoke designs, company CEO Alan Mulally has told Reg Hardware.
Speaking one-on-one to Reg Hardware just ahead of his CeBit keynote yesterday, Mulally revealed that the battery powered members of Ford's C1 global platform will share 80 per cent of their components with their petrol and diesel counterparts.
Ford's battery powered Focus: coming to Blighty early next year
A wholly battery-powered Ford Focus will hit European showrooms early in 2012 and will be joined the following year by hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the C-Max mini MPV.
Ford has been criticised for basing its e-cars on existing platforms rather than starting with a clean sheet of paper. Ground-up designs are considered by some pundits and manufacturers to be a better way of maximising the EV's environmental and performance credentials.
But Mulally said the start-from-scratch approach overlooks the economies of scale the company hopes to gain by using the C1 platform.
Power train: inside the e-Focus
Price is, after all, one of the key barriers e-cars have to overcome if they are to attract ordinary buyers. Government hand-outs will only go so far. Reducing the cost of design and production is essential if battery and hybrid models are to be placed within reach of mainstream consumers.
Next page: Price fighting
Range, actually quite useful.
"the battery Focus will go for around 90 miles with a full overnight charge from a 240V domestic socket - fine as a second car in a two-car family, but frankly not much use to the rest us."
If charged every night, 90 miles range would do both ways of my daily commute (I appreciate theres a speed/range issue for motorway use), my weekly shop, "dad's taxi" jobs etc etc. I'd be happier if I could charge (and park!) it at work to guarantee the return trip when the battery starts to lose some capacity, but if this was reliable then such a car would become my first car and the fossil burner would be come the backup used for longer weekend trips, power cuts, really bad weather etc
Killers, those phone chargers
"and probably charging my mobile too."
Man, that's some mobile you must have there. But I suppose, given that capacity, you could power the car from the phone.
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"Ford would only say that the Energi will travel 500 miles on a full charge and full tank but not how that splits down between EV and ICE range and that both it and the Hybrid will use Li-ion batteries and a 2.0-litre Atkinson Cycle"
A TWO LITRE engine acting as a genny for a hybrid!? What a waste!
You don't need anything like that size of engine - you only have to look at the performance of one of their newer 1.25l engines to know that Ford - despite being an American company ARE capable of making small, powerful, efficient engines.
Why, in this that should be their flagship "Green (but usable) Car" would they put in a hulking monstrosity like that? Surely it must be to just attract the slack-jawed yanks who think that unless a car has a 3.0 Litre engine then it will be slow.