Monday, October 08, 2007

Ford, VW Ante Up

Momentum for a Plug in Future continues.

First, there is this story from Volkswagon. Apparently, VW is set to unveil an Up!-based minivan in Tokyo, followed by a plug-in hybrid sedan at Los Angeles. Since the goal of the Up! concept unveiled in Frankfurt is to give VW a low-cost, rear engine, affordable vehicle, both the minivan and plug-in hybrid should carry a meager price tag if they come to production.

However, if this announcement from Next Energy News is correct( and it apparently is not), virtually all of the major manufacturers are now moving into the Plug-In car business for real.

Ford to bring back ESCORT in 2010 with 100 mpg Hybrid
Next Energy News
Sept. 24. 2007
Ford Motor Company has embarked on a bold mission to bring back the Escort name in a revolutionary new Plug-in Hybrid vehicle.

The new Hybrid only vehicle will compete with the highly successful Toyota Prius which has established a loyal cult-like following since its introduction 7 years ago. The new Escort Hybrid is planned for the model year 2011 and to be introduced in the fall of 2010.

Ford believes a total from the ground up Hybrid Exclusive model is the only way to truly capture the growing market for Hybrid Vehicles since consumers have not fully embraced the idea of retrofitting existing platforms. (clip)

The System Ford has chosen is a single mode Hybrid instead of the Dual-mode Hybrid that is going to be offered by GM and Chrysler. The Dual-mode hybrid uses two smaller electric motors that assist the gasoline engine at different times in the acceleration cycle. Ford believes the Single mode Plug-in Hybrid system will be superior in the future with the introduction of“Super Batteries” now being developed.

Ford is invested in the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium and is focusing most of its attention on A123 systems nanophosphate Lithium-Ion batteries to reach it’s expected 100 miles per gallon target. A123Systems high power battery technology is based on new highly active nanoscale materials that are inexpensive, nontoxic, extremely stable (Non Explosive) and quick charging. The new batteries are expected to have a life of 10 years and 150,000 miles.

Ford is in race with GM to bring out the new Escort before the Chevy Volt hits the market in 2010. Alan Mulally, Ford’s new CEO, realizes that Ford needs tohang on to their perceived lead in domestic Hybrid technology first developed and introduced for the Ford Escape.

With the price of gas hovering around $3 per gallon and with Toyota Prius sales up 56% so far this year Ford now understands where the future lies, and they’re thinking Hybrid all the way. "

Meanwhile, in an unusual move, GM is already advertising its Volt. (See ad)

And, DOE has announced even more funding for Plug-Ins.

Here at Plug In Partners ,we now have 598 Partners, including 71 Cities, 35 Local Governments, 150 Businesses, 166 Public Utilities, and 10 Investor-Owned Utilities.

Update: The Ford Story looks like it is wrong. See comments and read autoblogreen.



Blogger AE said...

Auto blog has also knocked the Ford story down. AE

9:16 AM  
Blogger AE said...

For the time being we are leaving this story up. It may become an interesting footnote in the history of the plug in hybrid.

The only changes to the post since publication is the "apparently it is not" link and the update at the bottom of the post.

1:35 PM  

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