Wendy and I just returned from the Power of Choice and Technology Tour that Ford is holding throughout the United States. The one we attended was the first of several that are planned and was held at the Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, Massachusetts. A Ford Executive will be speaking at each event on the tour. They are specialists in fuel economy, eco-boost technology, and sustainability.
The tour focuses on Ford’s current fuel efficient vehicles and electric vehicles and electric vehicles that will be available in North America by 2012. Ford shared this information with tour participants so it can be further publicized in order to educate drivers about the variety of fuel efficient vehicles they currently offer and those that will be available in the near future.
Ford will be showcasing some of their vehicles at each event. The vehicles currently in production are available for a test drive.
At this tour stop, Ford showcased the following vehicles:
Transit Connect Electric
Lincolin MKS Ecoboost (Ecoboost technology combines smaller engines with advanced technology turbocharging that results in better fuel economy, reduced CO2 emissions, yet has the power needed.)
The Transit, Fusion, and MKS were available for test drives. We drove the Fusion Hybrid for a short drive around the parking lot. I will be writing a review of it in the future.
Frank Davis, Executive Director of North America Vehicle Engineering, was the speaker for this event. Frank has worked at Ford for 27 years.
At the event we learned that the Ford Motor Company “is committed to delivering fuel efficient vehicles to consumers”. Ford has 14 vehicles with best-in-class fuel economy thus giving consumers the “Power of Choice” when they are choosing a vehicle based on their needs and fuel efficiency requirements. In addition, Ford offers 14 vehicles with 30 plus highway mpg and 4 vehicles with 40 plus highway mpg (Fiesta, Focus, Fusion Hybrid, and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid).
Frank said: “Consumers want options when searching for fuel efficient vehicles. Unlike our competitors, we are offering a family of solutions particularly with Ford’s electrified portfolio of cars, giving car buyers exciting choices in clean vehicles.”
I, as a consumer, definitely like several options to choose from when buying a vehicle. There are a vast amount of options when choosing a gas powered vehicle, why not when looking for an electric car or hybrid. I can envision cases where a hybrid would be better than a totally electric vehicle or vice versa. I believe more people will start seriously looking at electric or hybrid vehicles if they can buy one that fits their needs.
During the tour, Frank shared with us some results of research that Ford did with a sampling of Boston residents, below are three of their findings:
- “75 % of Boston residents are interested in purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle, with the potential for savings on gas being the number one influencing factor.
- 40 % of Boston residents admit to not knowing the difference between a battery electric vehicle, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and a hybrid electric vehicle
- 75% of Bostonians say an electric vehicle would fit their family’s needs, but are split on having an electric car as their primary mode of transportation.”
Confused the different vehicles? Read my article about the difference between electric and hybrid vehicles
Highlights of what we learned:
- Ecoboost Edge and Expediton will be available late this year
- People are buying smaller cars and downsizing things such as houses
- Fully electric Focus will be available early 2012
- Focus Electric will be able to be fully recharged in 3 to 4 hours using 240 volt charging system (this is half the charging time of other brands)
- In 2012, the C-MAX Hybrid and the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid will be available
- In 2013, Ecoboost engines will be available in 90% of Ford vehicles
- Ford is focusing on 4 pillars during vehicle development: green, safe, smart, and quality
- C-MAX Energi is being developed to have 500 miles of range
In summary, this event was very informative about the direction Ford is headed with their fuel efficient vehicles. By the end of 2012, Ford will be offering as least one vehicle in each of the different types of electric/hybrid categories, which I believe is very important to the consumer, giving them a choice that fits their needs while providing better fuel economy and reduced environmental impact.