Ford Begins Producing Fuel Cell Cars
11 August 2004
The Detroit News reports on Ford’s production line for 30 Focus fuel cell vehicles, being built for the DOE-sponsored trials.
[Gerhard] Schmidt [Ford vice president of research and advanced engineering] said no one technology will meet all the needs of motorists in the future.
“There is not one solution,” he said. “We will have some downtown areas that require fuel cell or hybrid. We will have some long-distance heavy trucks with diesels.
“We will have more tailored solutions for specific markets and for specific customers. I’m absolutely convinced that we will have a diverse landscape of powertrain and propulsion systems. There will be no single winner.“
I think that is quite true in the long term—and probably a good thing, because diversity will accelerate the overall adoption of more fuel-efficient and alternative solutions. But one of Ford’s short-term problems is its lineup today. While it is great that the company is rolling out the first full hybrid SUV (hybrid definitions here), that Escape doesn’t help Ford escape the fact it ranks last overall in fuel economy among the top six automakers in the US. Ford needs to do better more broadly across its lines, and more quickly.