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Feb. 25, 2011

Getting There (Part 1)- Ford’s Biggest Launch, EVER!

by Carl Flatow

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What does the automotive landscape look like from here? From the news, this week alone, we learned that BMW announced a new electric vehicle line, Toyota will be making a line of home electric car chargers and yesterday the NY Times published a piece about Ford’s “worldwide line of compact cars under the Ford Focus name that will include hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric models.” A Ford VP says, about this Focus focus, it’s a

“a really, really important car” to Ford Motor’s efforts to thrive in a hyper-competitive automotive industry, it will get “the biggest launch we’ve ever had, the biggest media weight.”

Except, when you actually read the article they miss one little detail.

When we peal back the onion a bit we learn something about how the “majors” are viewing the move to electric vehicles. I went to the Ford website to learn what I coud about the variations on Focus electric vehicles described above.

Here’s what I found. There are eight, count them, EIGHT, Focus models to choose from, here in the US. Every one has a 2.o liter gasoline engine with varying arrays of bells and whistles. That’s it for “the biggest launch we’ve ever had?” No Focus hybrids, plug-in or otherwise and no electric models will be available in the U.S. in this model year. I think that speaks volumes about what Ford thinks Americans want (need?). A small gasoline powered car that gets 40 mile per gallon.

About Carl Flatow

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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