2012: The Year Ford gets serious about hybrids?
Isn't Ford already serious about hybrid vehicles? I mean didn't the Fusion hybrid just win the North American Car of the Year Award?
I know. I'm just a cynic.
Still, when Toyota is selling 150,000 Prius hybrids per year, it's hard for me to call the Fusion hybrid the the 'Car of the Year' when Ford could only sell 20 something thousand Fusion hybrids last year - a year in which the Fusion hybrid qualified for federal tax credits and the Prius did not.
Anyway. In my opinion, Ford's biggest hybrid problem ultimately stems from Ford's reluctance to embrace NiMH batteries. Unfortunately, in many ways, I can understand Ford's disinterest in any serious hybrid production numbers. There's little - if any - profit potential for Ford until lithium replaces NiMH as the battery of choice in Ford hybrids.
That change should begin in 2012. In that year, Ford's investments into advanced battery technology, including a battery lab - like GM - to assemble battery packs, will begin powering a next generation hybrid along with a plug-in hybrid.
Until then, Ford's upcoming Focus EV will probably take the center stage for Ford's green efforts as NiMH technology is slowly phased out of Ford's hybrids.