Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Is Ford headed in the right track?

Ford's Impressive Sustainability Strategy

In Andrew Winston's piece, linked above, he argues that Ford may be too late to the EV game and wonders if the automaker has the commitment to see its lofty goals through.  I, for one, wish Ford all the best in this venture, as I do General Motors with the Chevrolet Volt, and look forward to seeing where Ford takes its Focus Electric and Plug-In Hybrids, Transit Connect Electric and C-Max Energi lines.  But for me, it's more a question if whether Nissan is too little, too late.

Clearly, I've been blogging a lot recently about the Focus Electric here — and am due to post my CES report someday — but I once wrote a pro and con evaluation of the Focus Electric on the MyNissanLEAF forum where I said I'd pay as much as $3,000 for the 6.6kW charger — again, search my blog and my posts on the MyNissanLEAF forum to see how much I gripe about the LEAF not having a 6.6kW or 7.2kW charger and also the missing Cold Weather Package trim — but man, the trunk space is a joke!  I don't mind too much in a commuter car, as my future-EV is so designated, but it makes Costco runs almost impossible since the back seat is typically already filled when I take the Avalon.  And I know folks in the semi-conductor industry that do not have positive impressions of what Ford is attempting, especially with respect to BMS (Battery Management System).

Would I get a Focus EV?

Well, if Nissan keeps pushing back the LEAF roll-out in the Washington, D.C. region, and the Focus Electric is supposed to go on sale here at the end of the year for the 2012 model, then heck, yeah, I'll consider it.  You can only poke us Tier 2 states in the eye so much.  If I had the money, I'd get a Tesla Model S 300-mi edition, but IMHO it's gonna sell for $77,000 and that's well too much to swallow!  So I'm still in the LEAF camp but keeping my options opened.  In 2010 we had only 1 choice: the 40 mi-on-EV PHEV Chevrolet Volt.  This year, we may have as many as 4 choices, including the recently available for leasing Smart Electric.  Maybe even more if the Plug-in Prius makes its debut in the 2012 series as planned.  Perhaps the Coda or BYD may finally get their acts together (but don't get me started on those Chinese cars), or any number of surprises that may come our way in 2011.

We live in interesting times, my friends.  Interesting times.