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Ford CEO talks up e-car future

Alan Mulally speaks out on platforms, prices and power generation

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Infrastructure not infra dig

With that in mind, 600 miles to the south of Hanover, Ford pulled the dust-sheets of the C-Max Energi and Hybrid models – the Energi is the plug-in version – at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

Sadly, technical details were thin on the ground. 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 scheme that trades power output to maximise the energy to be gained from the burned fuel - four-cylinder engine.

Ford Focus charging

Ford wants to help develop charging infrastructure

When I asked Mulally if he saw lithium availability as being a potential limiting factor, his answer was a direct “no”. Ford's research show existing Lithium deposits are sufficient to keep the e-cars rolling into the foreseeable future and beyond.

Mulally was also keen to stress that Ford is aware of the whole carbon cost of e-cars. The environmental drum can only be beaten so hard if the electricity used to power an e-car is coming from coal-fired power stations, for example. Running an electric car in Paris is a green option, doing the same in Detroit is less so.

Though power generation goes beyond the remit of a car company even the size of Ford, Mulally emphasised Ford's willingness to forge partnerships to develop charging infrastructure and smart-grid systems. ®

First Look Ford Focus 2011

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