First Person: Storied Automaker Builds Electric Vehicles for the Future
As director of the global electrification program at Ford, Nancy Gioia can explain the advantages EVs offer to consumers, as well as the challenges faced by the utility industry in support of these vehicles. She recently discussed these matters with Area Development's editor.
Nancy Gioia, Director of Global Electrification, Ford Motor Company North America (September 2010)
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We know electric vehicles will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but will production of these vehicles also reduce Ford's carbon footprint?
Gioia: Ford is working on a variety of things to help reduce the carbon footprint of all our cars, not just electric vehicles. This includes using
sustainable materials throughout the vehicle like soy foam in seats. In total, Ford vehicles are 85 percent recyclable by weight. In addition, we are working with our suppliers and dealers to make sure our vehicles are being produced and sold in the most eco-friendly manner.
Can you give us a heads-up on Ford's plan?
Gioia: Ford has an aggressive plan to introduce five new electrified vehicles in North America and Europe by 2013, providing a range of products to meet a variety of customer needs. For North America, these include its Transit Connect BEV small commercial van in 2010, the Ford Focus electric passenger car in 2011, two next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrids in 2012, and a plug-in hybrid in 2012.
These vehicles will achieve breakthrough efficiency; some, like the pure battery electric vehicles Ford Transit Connect Electric and Ford Focus Electric, will use no gasoline at all.
Is there anything else you would like to add about Ford's electrification strategy?
Gioia: Electrification is an important piece of Ford's overall product sustainability strategy that includes a range of fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel technologies including EcoBoost engines, six-speed transmissions, power-assisted steering, aerodynamic improvements, and light-weight materials. Ford's electrification strategy also leverages the most fuel-efficient powertrains, the most technically competent hybrids, and our global vehicle platforms in order to develop affordable choices for consumers.