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Posts Tagged ‘ford battery cars’

Ford To Quadruple Sales Outlets for Battery Cars

Maker hopes to charge up sluggish sales.

by on Feb.06, 2013

Ford's C-Max Energi plug-in.

Call it Supply-and-Demand 101. Ford Motor Co. is betting it can sell more battery cars if it has more places where potential customers can find them.

The Detroit maker plans to more than quadruple the number of outlets for its plug-based vehicles in the months ahead in an effort to boost demand. Ford ended 2012 with just 200 dealers certified to carry the three battery models, the Focus Electric, Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi. It expected to have 900 turned on by spring.

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That will not only increase the raw number of dealers but also expand their footprint beyond initial launch markets like New York and California.

“The newest approach is based on a key market coverage strategy to ensure we have good representation on a national basis to meet customer demand,” said Ford Field Operations Manager Paul Russell.


New Ads Position Ford C-Max as Prius Alternative

Ford takes on the 800-lb gorilla of the hybrid world.

by on Oct.04, 2012

Ford wants to go head-to-head with the Toyota Prius in new ad campaign.

Expect to see a lot about C-Max.  That’s the Ford C-Max, to be more precise, the maker’s all-new people-mover and the first domestic hybrid that lifts a page from the Toyota Prius handbook by adopting a unique body style that won’t be shared with a standard gas powertrain.

Like the ever-popular Prius, meanwhile, Ford will offer both a “conventional” hybrid model as well as a plug-in version dubbed the Ford C-Max Energi.  The maker will produce them at an upgraded plant in suburban Detroit alongside the new battery-electric version of the compact Focus.

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Ford has been one of the most aggressive makers in challenging Toyota’s persistent lead in the hybrid segment but – like Honda which actually launched the first hybrid in the U.S. market, the original Insight – Ford has so far been unable to crack Toyota’s lead. The Prius currently accounts for more than half of all U.S. gas-electric vehicle sales, a lead that has grown with the creation of a so-called “Prius family” of hybrids.


Ford Amps Up Investment in Electric Vehicles

Maker targets more battery vehicles at a lower cost.

by on Aug.16, 2012

Ford plans to rapidly increase the number of battery vehicles in its line-up and boost production capacity while also driving down costs.

Ford Motor Co., despite the feeble growth of sales of hybrids and electric vehicles, has no intention of backing off its ambitious plans to build more electric vehicles.  Instead, the automaker has announced plans to invest another $135 million to design, engineer and test future battery-based vehicles.

Joe Bakaj, Ford vice president of powertrain engineering, said the investment will include hiring more engineers to work on electric vehicle projects alongside the 1,000 experts it already has working on EV projects at its engineering campus in Dearborn at what the company is now calling the Advanced Electrification Center. Ford continues to build its electrified team having hired 60 engineers in the past year with plans to fill more positions in the next few months.

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While the price of gasoline continues to fluctuate, the long-term trend in fuel prices is upwards and consumers around the world are demanding greater fuel efficiency, Bakaj said. “Sixty percent of our customers say they would consider a hybrid if the price was equal to a vehicle with an internal combustion engine,” he said.


Ford Launches Plug-n-Play Focus Electric on Facebook

Charging across the country with new online game.

by on Apr.12, 2012

Ford will let Facebook friends plug-n-play with a new game based on the Focus Electric.

According to a recent study we reported on earlier in the week, young folks are waiting longer than ever to get their driver’s licenses – and one reason, said the researchers, is that they’re apparently too busy online.

So, no wonder Ford has decided to launch what you might call the plug-n-play version of the maker’s new Focus Electric, an online game that will allow virtual drivers to take a digital road trip with their BFFs – in this case, their Best Facebook Friends.

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“This is a great way for consumers to both have fun and learn about the new Focus Electric at the same time,” said Chad D’Arcy, Focus Electric marketing manager. “We want to offer people the opportunity to experience the car now, especially those on Facebook who have supported us for so long.”

Dubbed “Plug N Play in Electric City with the 2012 Focus Electric,” the game allows up to five people to take a trip in the battery version of Ford’s compact sedan.  The maker is betting it’s a good way to spread the word about the Focus Electric which officially went on sale in California last December – though it is only beginning to be rolled out now in any real volume.


Ford Insists its Battery Cars Will be Safe

Maker has taken added steps to prevent post-crash fires.

by on Dec.14, 2011

A Ford Focus Electric using a high-speed charger.

Clearly concerned by the controversy that’s erupted over fires involving the Chevrolet Volt’s lithium-ion batteries, Ford Motor Co. officials pointedly stressed that they have gone to extremes to ensure there won’t be problems when they launch an array of lithium-powered products in the coming year.

Ford provided an inside look at their “electrified” line-up today, a mix of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, that the maker hopes will position it as one of the leaders in the growing green automotive niche.

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“The goal is to focus on affordable, sustainable technologies, not for 100s of customers or thousands, but for millions,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s global product development chief, who added that the maker “will triple the production capacity for electrified vehicles to 100,000 by 2013.”


Ford May Build Battery Cars in China

Maker may also add Lincoln to its Chinese line-up.

by on Sep.26, 2011

Ford may produce battery cars, like the C-Max Energi plug-in, in China, suggests CEO Alan Mulally.

Ford Motor Co. may try to tap into the potentially huge market for electric vehicles in China, echoing the strategy of its rival General Motors.

Ford has already committed to producing at least five battery-electric vehicles, like the Ford Focus Electric, and plug-in hybrids, like the C-Max Energi, for the U.S. and Europe.  But some analysts believe the market for battery cars could be even bigger in China as the Asian nation takes steps to reduce pollution and minimize its dependence upon foreign oil.

Building vehicles in China would sidestep hefty import duties and qualify Ford for significant incentives the Beijing government has authorized for domestically-produced battery cars.

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“As we move to more electrification, you’re going to see more hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric” cars,” Ford CEO Alan Mulally said during an interview with Bloomberg TV during a visit to Chongqing, China to mark the groundbreaking of the automaker’s new transmission plant.


Ford Insists Focus Electric is on Schedule

Denies reports of delays but confirms slow roll-out.

by on Aug.09, 2011

Not late, says Ford of the new Focus Electric, just getting a very slow production ramp-up.

While most potential buyers won’t be able to plug in a new Focus Electric until sometime next spring – at the earliest — Ford Motor Co. officials insist that earlier reports of a delay in the battery car program are in err.

Plans for Ford’s first electrified passenger car have always called for a slow roll-out, with only a select number of dealers in California and New York likely to take delivery of the Focus Electric before the end of 2011.

Reports of a delay – which appeared in a number of media outlets, including – were triggered by comments made by David Finnegan, Ford’s marketing chief for battery vehicles, on the company website  In it, the executive indicated that the rest of the 19 launch markets won’t see the Focus Electric until next spring. That echoed the wording in a new teaser ad campaign for the battery car.

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“Ford remains on schedule to deliver the initial Focus Electrics by the end of the year,” said a statement by the maker which noted that only California and New York will initially receive the vehicle.  “We will be rolling out to the remainder of the initial Focus Electric markets starting with production ramp up in spring 2012.”


Ford Delaying Launch of Focus Electric

Maker echoes Nissan, Chevrolet with slow initial roll-out.

by on Aug.08, 2011

Slow down, you move too fast...Ford will delay the roll-out of the new Focus Electric, most launch markets now having to wait until spring 2012.

Though it’s not saying why, Ford has decided to slow down the planned roll-out of its first battery-electric passenger car, the Focus Electric.  Originally scheduled to charge in 19 markets before the end of this year, the maker now will roll the battery car into dealerships in New York and California by the end of 2011.  Potential buyers will have to wait until next spring in the rest of those launch markets.

The Focus Electric is one of five plug-in and battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, Ford plans to bring to market over the next several years.  The first, a battery-powered version of the Transit Connect, made its debut in the final weeks of 2010.  Ford also plans to introduce a plug-in version of the upcoming C-Max microvan, dubbed C-Max Energi, as well as a more conventional version of the people-mover.

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But the maker has been investing a lot of time and energy into promoting the battery-electric version of its all-new Focus model, Ford CEO Alan Mulally even going on the David Letterman late night talk show, last week, to promote the BEV.

So, it came as a bit of a surprise when the maker posted a promo ad for the Focus Electric that noted the new model would be, “Coming in spring 2012,” months later than originally expected.


Ford to Partner with Azure on F-Series Plug-in

Technology to allow SuperDuty models to operate in electric-only mode.

by on Jul.29, 2011

Ford will turn to Azure Dynamics to convert the biggest of its F-Series models into plug-in hybrids.

Can the full-size pickup go from being a gas-guzzling behemoth to the poster child for environmental efficiency?  A new partnership teaming up Ford and Canadian-based Azure Dynamics aims to bring the F-Series truck a big step closer to being earth-friendly.

Early in 2013, the partners plan to come to market with a plug-in hybrid version of some of the biggest of Ford’s popular trucks, starting with the F-550 but later adding the F-450 and F-350 models.  The technology would allow the trucks to operate in electric-only mode at low speeds while also reducing fuel consumption at higher speeds in hybrid mode.

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Azure Dynamics has already been working with Ford on several projects including the battery-powered conversion of the Dearborn maker’s small commercial van, dubbed the Transit Connect Electric, as well as a version of the Ford E-Van converted to hybrid power.

For the moment, the partners aren’t saying much about the specific technology that will replace the conventional F-Series powertrain, though it is likely to be similar to the E-Van conversion, they hint.  The modified driveline, called the E-450 Balance, starts out with a conventional Ford 5.4-liter V-8 with a 5-speed automatic transmission.  But an electric motor connected to that gearbox provides alternative power in electric drive mode, while also adding battery assist during acceleration.  When coasting or braking it goes into regenerative mode to reclaim energy normally lost.


Ford Lines up European Buyers for Transit Connect Electric Van

Fleet buyers helping push demand for battery power.

by on Mar.29, 2011

The Transit Connect Electric has a range of up to 80 miles per full charge, and can be recharged using 110 or 220 volts.

Ford Motor Company and Azure Dynamics have announced that the Norwegian Post has becomes the first European customer of the Ford Transit Connect Electric, placing an order for 20 of the battery-electric vans, or BEVs.

“The Norwegian Post will be an environmental leader in the mail and logistics industry by taking advantage of the latest technology available,” said Dag Mejdell, CEO of the Scandinavian nation’s postal service.

“In signing a contract for delivery of the new Ford Transit Connect Electric, the Norwegian Post is taking an important step towards its goal of reducing 150,000 (metric) tonnes of CO2 annually,” Mejdell said, noting his agency has an option to purchase more.

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Norwegian Post is the largest provider of mail and logistics services and the biggest employer in Norway.

Ford and its partner Azure Dynamics, of Oak Park, MI recently began a pilot program for the Transit Connect Electric last December.  (Click Here for more.) A conversion of the standard Transit Connect van, sales officially begin in the summer of 2011.