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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

Stay green...get you auto news online!

Stay green...get you auto news online!

“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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Auto Politburo Members Drive Imports

Will Task Force be biased in judging bailout bid?

by on Feb.23, 2009

Import bias? Sec. Geithner owns 2008 Acura TSX, like this one.

Import bias? Sec. Geithner owns 2008 Acura TSX, like this one.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner drives a 2008 Acura TSX. Lawrence Summers, the Director of the White House National Economic Council, drives a 1995 Mazda Protégé.

Does that matter? It might, suggests a story in today’s Detroit News. The report reveals that among the eight members named last Friday to the new Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry – along with their 10 senior policy aides – only two own cars made by the Big Three. As reporter David Shepardson notes, that number jumps to three if you include the Treasury Department’s special advisor to the task force.

Does that suggest that these folks already have an import bias? Detroit’s Big Three better hope not, especially General Motors and Chrysler, who have already received billions of dollars in federal loans and are asking for billions more in aid they say they critically need if they’re to survive the current economic downturn.

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