It was truly dismaying to see the announcement from Ford that they were backing away from their committment to build 250,000 hybrids a year by 2010. While 250,000 hybrids, even good hybrids like the Escape, would not be a panacea for Ford on the environmental front, it did represent a bold vision for sending the company in a greener direction.
Now, it seems, Ford is content to throw that all away in favor of some token greenwashing in the form of a promise to build more flexible-fueled vehicles (FFVs). Good thinking: replace a vehicle that actually delivers a 50% increase in fuel economy, with one that uses a loophole in the law to get credit for an even bigger increase, but at a fraction of the price. Never mind the fact that the flexible fuel vehicles already on the road are using plain old gasoline 99% of the time. Or the fact that we already have enough FFVs on the road to burn all the ethanol we produce in this country - if they were actually using the alternative fuel.
That's right: we already have enough FFVs to burn all our ethanol as E85, yet they're using gasoline 99% of the time. The Big Three solution: build more FFVs.
This is the second major committment Ford has walked away from on the fuel economy front (recall their much-ballyhooed promise to improve the fuel economy of their SUVs by 25%). Now they've squandered yet another opportunity to play a leadership role, and instead gone back to business as usual - and look where that's gotten them to date.
Posted by: Don