We learned recently that Jim Hackett has been appointed the new president and CEO of Ford Motor Company, with a mandate from Chairman Bill Ford to “transform the company to meet tomorrow’s challenges.” There has been much speculation that this is coming from a shareholder demand for the company to step up its leadership on electric vehicles and other cutting edge technologies.
Robert Kennedy famously borrowed from George Bernard Shaw when he said that there are those who look at things the way they are and ask “why,” but that he dreamt of things that never were and asked, “why not?” Ford is certainly a company that, from time to time, has asked “why not?”
Henry Ford’s vision for the Model T transformed the automobile in 1908 from a plaything for the rich to an inexpensive mass-produced consumer good, available to everyone. In 1999, Bill Ford contracted with visionary architect William McDonough to reshape the venerable 85-year-old Rouge River facility into a showcase of sustainable industrial design, covering the roof with native grasses that retain rainwater, among other innovations. And in 2006, Ford bet the company on a risky plan to largely restructure its product line and in the process became the only U.S. automaker to avoid bankruptcy during the Great Recession.
Now, the company has an opportunity to ask “why not” and meet the challenge of electric drive head on by creating an electric version of its F-150 pick-up truck, the top-selling truck in the country. Pick-up trucks are a big niche of the auto market that is still void of electric options—for now. This prevents many people, for whom the pick-up is an essential tool, from even considering driving electric. A well-designed electric pick-up should beautifully showcase the power of electric drive. Whoever does it first will have the best shot at locking up this market segment. Mr. Ford and Mr. Hackett, this is your opportunity to secure Ford’s spot at the front of the pick-up market for years to come.
11 comments on “Ford’s Opportunity to Dream Big on EVs”
I’m driving a Chevy Volt, and for me they have the magic formula. I average 65+ electric miles in normal city driving and find that to be a comfortable range without needing the engine.
If Ford would compete with both the Energi sedans and suggested trucks they would really be winners.
Gil, I couldn’t agree more and congrats on your choice. As a Tesla owner I applaud the Volt’s 35 mile all e range and versatility to handle long trips with no range anxiety. Tesla does this by a different mechanism – the Superchargers. But other companies are going to have to solve the charging issue to compete with Tesla. No one can take a long trip anticipating 3 hours charging time.
Until you can go over 500 miles without charging your car I would not want one. Secondly, I would not want to be waiting on a charging station uptown while others are charging. Thirdly, the battery cost is so high. And lastly, unless something can stand on its own without government help, it is not worth tax dollars.
An EV or even a decent range 25 p,us miles plug in version of an F-150 would go along ways toward securing a positive Ford Future. A significanltly electrified Ford Escape would be more what I am looking for.
An EV or even a decent range 25 p,us miles plug in version of an F-150 before anyone else does would go along ways toward securing a positive Ford Future. A significanltly electrified Ford Escape would be just what I am looking for.
I have got it hopefully they will work with me upgraded their Ford Focus E-Hatch double range.
True believer in electric despite North Carolina’s legislature
The Port of Los Angeles in Long Beach has replaced all its in port delivery trucks to electric
Ford made and sold, not leased,
A Ford Ranger pick up truck made in NJ for several years. Approximately enough I think it was made in Edison, NJ…
The motor and drive was AC and made by Siemens.
When it was discontinued the motors went into the surplus market and floated around for years.
A lot of questions and answers need to be discussed…right now, I would not want one. And, the only way to make a huge difference in carbon is for the middle class and lower to be able to afford one…$30,000 won’t do it. Where do you think the electricity comes from to charge these ECs? Coal that produces the electricity to your home.
I understand, wind and solar now produce more electricity than coal in the USA. Do a little research around that I could be wrong.