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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.

Be in the Know!

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.


Toshiba to Supply Electric Motors to Ford in U.S.

Major Contract from Ford Motor goes to Japanese company.

by on Jun.22, 2010

Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502) will expand manufacturing capacity at its plant in Houston, Texas for production of drive motors for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs), the Japanese company said today.

The electric motors will be Toshiba’s first overseas manufacturing of  the automotive propulsion motors that are currently produced in Mie Prefecture, Japan. The decision follows the awarding of a major contract to supply drive motors for hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles for Ford Motor Company. The company also makes inverters, another key component for EVs.

Plug In!

“Toshiba recognizes the importance of localizing production within North America to ensure long term growth and make a commitment to the North American market,” said Shinichiro Akiba, President, Toshiba International Corporation, a Houston-based Toshiba Group company that manufactures and markets motors and industrial equipment.


Ford Investing Another $450 million in Battery Vehicles

Bringing operations back to Michigan, creating up to 1,100 jobs.

by on Jan.11, 2010

With $1 billion going into its electric vehicle problem, Ford Chairman Bill Ford hopes to keep Michigan the "Motor Capital."

Ford Motor Co. plans to invest another $450 million in its electric vehicle, on top of an earlier, $550 million investment.  The move, the company claims, will help it create as many as 1,000 new jobs in Michigan.

Among other things, the automaker will relocate lithium-ion battery pack production from Mexico to Michigan.  The company plans to roll out at least two battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, over the next two years, and also plans to launch a plug-in hybrid model by 2012.

“It’s really important to me that the state of Michigan maintains its status as the motor capital,” said Ford Chairman Bill Ford, following a news conference at the North American International Auto Show, in Detroit.

Auto Show News!

Ford announced that the Michigan Assembly Plant, in the Detroit suburb of Wayne, will become its new battery vehicle production center.  The facility, which only a few years ago produced trucks, is being converted to assemble the next-generation 2011 Ford Focus.  The new compact shares its C-car platform with the automaker’s upcoming battery vehicles.