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Ford Betting Big on Battery Power

Cost cuts critical to advanced hybrids, plug-ins and pure EVs, says Kuzak.

by on Jul.22, 2009

Ford hopes to launch its first commercial battery-electric vehicle, the Transit Connect EV, in 2010, with a battery-powered Focus to follow a year later.

Ford hopes to launch its first commercial battery-electric vehicle, the Transit Connect EV, in 2010, with a battery-powered Focus to follow a year later.

Battery-powered vehicles, whether hybrids, plug-ins or pure battery-electric vehicles, “are the future,” says Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally.  But while the automaker has committed to bring all three forms of battery vehicles to market in the next few years, Ford officials warn that it will take significant reductions in cost to move such technology into the mainstream.

With the recent launch of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, the second generation of the company’s hybrid-electric vehicles, Ford has been able to cut costs for the underlying hybrid technology by 30%, and the automaker is targeting yet another 30% reduction with its Gen-3 battery technology, global product chief Derrick Kuzak tells TheDetroitBureau.com

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“We know how to make the technology work,” says Kuzak, so now we’re working on affordability.”  But the soft-spoken executive quickly stresses that, “We can’t do this by ourselves.”

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