Even as GM goes through media relations issues with its Chevy Volt and Toyota celebrates 10 years of Prius bliss, Ford continues to march along towards an electric vehicle solution it believes will best suite the needs of its customer base. The American automaker, for example, has been busy of late on a national tour, showcasing its Ford Focus Electric as one of the main spokes of its green vehicle strategy.
Ford, when it stopped off in Portland, Oregon, gave us a chance to go hands on with the Focus Electric plus some other green cars it was showcasing. The company also outlined plans for working with local utilities “to share information on charging needs and requirements to ensure the electrical grid can support the necessary demand for electric vehicles.” It has been repeating this pattern at other stops around the country. As the tour rolls on, we caught up with Ford’s Mike Tinskey, who is their manager of electric vehicle infrastructure, for the latest on what Ford is thinking around electric cars.
EarthTechling (ET): Ford is one of many auto companies exploring electric vehicles. What makes your strategy different?
Mike Tinskey: Electrification is an important piece of Ford’s overall product sustainability strategy. As a result, Ford has an aggressive plan to deliver a family of five new electrified vehicles by 2012. This includes the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van, the Ford Focus Electric passenger car, two third generation lithium-ion battery hybrids (2012) and a plug-in hybrid (2012).
These vehicles will achieve breakthrough efficiency; some, like the pure battery electric vehicles Ford Transit Connect Electric and Ford Focus Electric, will use no gasoline at all. Focusing on a family of electrified vehicles allows Ford to deliver automobiles that can accommodate our customers’ wide range of driving habits.