Ford rolls out electrified vehicle plan at Shanghai show; new energy vehicle demonstration fleet
22 April 2011
At Auto Shanghai 2011, Ford outlined its electrified vehicle plan in China with the Asian debut of the company’s latest electrified vehicles and a plan to have a demonstration fleet of new energy vehicles in the country early next year.
The debut of the Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid and Fusion Hybrid at Auto Shanghai 2011 showcased Ford’s electrified vehicle portfolio. All three models exemplify Ford’s strategy that involves three types of electrified vehicles: Battery Electric Vehicles, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Hybrid Electric Vehicles.
Ford will be making a demonstration fleet of new energy vehicles available in the country later this year. The Fusion Hybrid will be one of the vehicles in the trial fleet.
The Fusion hybrid was years late coming out. It is the same as an Escape hybrid which came out in 2005, but they took years to bring out the Fusion hybrid while Toyota Camry hybrid and Nissan Altima hybrids were selling well.
The Focus EV will be a welcome addition, but in limited quantities. Ford could have sold 2 to 3 times the number of Escape hybrids each year if they were available, but they were not. Ford needs to show that they are real about all of this, they should be able to fill every potential order that the market produces.
Posted by: SJC | 22 April 2011 at 10:58 AM
Don't forget that Ford was using Toyota's patented drive trains and had a cross agreement for a limited number.
When Ford has developed its own drive train, it will be at liberty to increase production.
Since latest studies claimed that by 2020 abut 60% of all electrified vehicles will be in China, Ford has taken a wise and financially sound decision to build EV factories there.
Posted by: HarveyD | 22 April 2011 at 12:19 PM
Do forget that Harvey, because it is a lie. The mechanical concept is relatively simple and was patented 30 years prior to Toyota even thinking about building a Prius. Both they and Ford developed the concept, because it is one of the most logical ways to make a hybrid.
"The reality is that Ford independently developed its own hybrid system at the same time Toyota was doing its own. The basic architecture of both systems is the same and both are based on the concepts developed and patented by TRW engineers in the late 1960s. When Ford introduced the Escape Hybrid, Toyota went after the Blue Oval for infringing on its patents. Ford had patents of its own on the technology that Toyota was using.
Eventually, the two companies reached a cross-licensing agreement that gives both companies the right to build their own systems. Such cross-licensing agreements are common in these kinds of cases, but Ford did not use the Toyota hybrid system. The only other company that uses Toyota's system is Nissan for its Altima hybrid, and they actually buy hardware from Toyota. - Sam Abuelsamid"
Posted by: joookes | 23 April 2011 at 04:17 AM
Which points out how patents can be a barrier to progress. I understand capitalists wanting to have a monopoly licence for 20 years, but we do not have to give it to them. Take it to market, recover your development costs and compete...period.
Posted by: SJC | 23 April 2011 at 09:40 AM
From Wikipedia, "Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd., a Japanese automotive components supplier belonging to the Toyota Group, supplies the hybrid continuously variable transmission for the Escape Hybrid." Ford is using part of the Toyota hybrid system, so Sam Abuelsamid isn't entirely correct.
Posted by: Keith Ruddell | 23 April 2011 at 10:22 AM
Toyota would probably never built the Prius if not for the PNGV program. They watched what was going on then designed their own, they actually made the product instead of making excuses.
This is a contractual matter. If you sign a contract saying that your competitor can limit the number of vehicles you produce, then you need better lawyers.
Posted by: SJC | 23 April 2011 at 10:41 AM
There are strong indications that the Ford/Toyota cross patent agreement limited the number and type of hybrid vehicle that Ford could produce in the first 10 years. Otherwise, Toyota would have gone to court.
Posted by: HarveyD | 23 April 2011 at 03:09 PM
It seems that PHEVs and BEVs were not part of the cross patent agreement.
Posted by: HarveyD | 23 April 2011 at 03:10 PM
I don't think Ford wanted to produce many Escape hybrids anyway, they were not the most profitable vehicle for them. They complained early on about not being able to get enough battery packs to make more Escape hybrids, but who knows what was behind that.
Posted by: SJC | 24 April 2011 at 07:51 AM