Car and Driver on Hybrids
23 August 2004
WorldChanging points to a couple of good articles on hybrids in Car and Driver. Check it out.
Car and Driver’s latest issue has two important articles about hybrids, and anyone with an interest in the real world performance of efficient vehicle technologies should check them out.
One thing, though: Ford is going to go non-linear over the reference to the Escape hybrid using “Toyota’s hybrid technology.” As both companies have stated in public, that’s not the case. That the perception still lingers is a indication of how poor a marketing job Ford has done—squandering the opportunity, as it were. (Earlier posts on that here and here.)
How much Toyota technology is in the Escape hybrid, then? The "Ford and BP" posting suggests that Ford didn't simply take Toyota's hybrid and transplant it, but also says that the "second generation" Ford hybrid will be all native Ford tech. I definitely agree that Ford has squandered its opportunity, whatever the situation.
Posted by: Jamais Cascio | 23 August 2004 at 09:10 PM
Which, according to Ford, doesn't mean that they are using it. Ford's stance is that because some of the processes Ford developed were similar to Toyota's, Ford's company lawyers decided to pay Toyota a royalty to avoid a potential patent conflict.
From a Ford FAQ on the Escape (it’s the second item, right after price—a little bit sensitive, Ford?)
I can see why this is frustrating for Ford. But it just reinforces the whole issue of missed opportunity and outright marketing gaffes.
Posted by: Mike | 24 August 2004 at 11:30 AM
Ah. Useful info, thanks. I'll update my post on WC.
Posted by: Jamais Cascio | 24 August 2004 at 12:33 PM