Ford Director of Sustainable Mobility: “We Don’t Really See the Battery Electric Vehicle as a Major Player”

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 16

Ford Focus Electric Won't Ever be a Major Player, but Neither Will Other Pure Electric Vehicles, According to Ford.

Ford Focus Electric Won’t Ever be a Major Player, but Neither Will Other Pure Electric Vehicles, According to Ford.

Though pure electric vehicles accounted for only around 0.1 percent of all automotive sales in the US in 2012, the total tally still reached roughly 15,000 units last year.  Not bad considering the EV just re-entered the automotive scene in earnest in late 2010.

Super Small Picture of Ford's Kevin Layden

Super Small Picture of Ford’s Kevin Layden

2013 will almost surely see sales of pure electric vehicles soar well above 15,000 units as more available models hit the market for the first time.  The same will hold true for 2014 and beyond.  Growth in the pure electric vehicle segment may be slow, but the EV is still in its infancy and, like fine wine, it’ll only get better with time.

That is, unless you believe the words of Kevin Layden, Ford’s director of sustainable mobility technologies.

As Layden says:

“We [Ford] don’t really see the battery electric vehicle as a major player.”

Unless his words were taken out of context, there seems to be no disclaimer with Layden’s statement.  For example, Layden isn’t saying that Ford’s stance reads something like this:

“We [Ford] don’t really see the battery electric vehicle as a major player [in the next few years].”

Layden does believe that sales of pure electric vehicles will improve as battery technology does and says that charging efficiency will boost sales, too.  But, then Layden adds this:

“At the same time, it has to compete with other competing technology like the hybrid and plug-in hybrid that utilize that same technology.”

So, it will still seem that Layden is suggesting that the pure electric vehicle will always be overshadowed by some sort of hybrid that still relies on a gas engine.  Do you agree?

via Financial Times

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16 responses to "Ford Director of Sustainable Mobility: “We Don’t Really See the Battery Electric Vehicle as a Major Player”"

  1. hacker says:

    Oh don’t get me started on these guys!

  2. Nelson says:

    Until charging stations become as common as the parking meter and as reasonably priced, I think he has a point. An EREV will always be the smarter, safer choice until then.

    p.s. March 2013 Sales figures should be very interesting. There should be a “Monthly Sales” category to point to those posts.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671

    1. Bill Howland says:

      If battery technology increased at only a small infestesimal fraction of computer technology (my first toy puter had a 75 k floppy, usb sticks used for the same thing (removeable data storage) are now cheap at 64 gb), or 900,000 times bigger, then an increase of 10 times would make these statements SILLY.

      Ex: My 244 mile roadster would go 2,440 miles. only a 10 x increase.

      And before someone says it would take too long to charge on my 30 amp evse, I’d say I only go to tennesee and back every once in a while. I just drive 40 to 50 miles during the day and just plug in at night, same as I do with my celly. In a week or so the battery will be fully charged for another 2440 miles. Who cares when precisely it gets finished? The power company loves me too, since at 7.2 kw draw i’m having no effect on their infrastructure loading.

  3. Rashiid Amul says:

    He is correct. That is why the Volt is so important.
    Pure EVs are too restrictive for most people (or so they think).

    Bring charging down to 5 minutes.
    Bring range up to 400-500 miles.
    Put the cost in the $30,000 range.
    Now it will be a VERY major player.

    1. Airton says:

      He is wrong. We need more reasonably priced 100 mile range pure EVs on the road, it is the perfect 2nd car in a 2 car household. Put more Pure EVs on the road Ford and the charging infrastructure will come.

    2. bloggin says:

      True..

      And the more hybrids and plug-in hybrids sold, the cheaper the battery technology will be that goes into the full EV, making it a more viable option. Economies of scale is the name of the game.

  4. Max says:

    Ha ha 🙂

    It really means “We [Ford] don’t really have a clue what to do in EV segment. We do not know how to sell BEVs and how to make their production profitable.” I’d also add that it’s a lot because they are so bureaucratic, slow and inefficient that BEVs are just too creative for them to handle. Pathetic managers like that should never speak on behalf of companies with such brand names.

    1. David Murray says:

      That is probably the dirty truth rephrased in less elegant terms. However, Ford is marching ahead with its PHEV line and I praise them for that.

  5. Stoaty says:

    An EV like the Leaf is a perfect second car for many two car families. A lot of them will find that the EV becomes the primary vehicle, with the ICE vehicle relegated to a distant second that is used occasionally.

    1. bloggin says:

      Exactly! And for those who only have one vehicle and want to go electric, they opt for a hybrid, or plug-in hybrid as part of the process of bridging the gap from ICE to full EV.

      So the more hybrids, and plug-in hybrids sold, the quicker the acceptance and adoption of a full EV will be.

      I see the near future where the two car family will have a plug-in hybrid and an EV…the best of both worlds.

  6. jeff says:

    I think Ford should consult with this group.

    I would toss in the 50+ mile EV range to cover extreme cold and not charging every day.
    I think it would be useful to have a CNG powered ICE instead of gasoline. That way there’s no issue about fuel ever going bad.

    I test drove the Ford Fusion hybrid. Is was a nice unit. It’s too bad the Fusion Energi was not properly designed to accomodate the batteries. I for one would want MORE than the 8.2 cu ft of trunk. It just does not look right with the kids sitting on top of stuff in the back seat.

    The Ford design team needs to complete the deal and make a proper PHEV car.

  7. levi says:

    Wishes of a LOSER !!!!
    Ford is no Tesla….Ford is associated with average…. that means mediocrity
    They thought that by stealing Tesla engineers they will replicate Tesla… but nobody is buying a $45,000 car that only goes 80 miles…..& the emblem in front of the EV says Ford ..aarrggh!!!!

    These r some of the shorts coming out of the woodwork… like roaches…..confused as to why Tesla is succeeding.

  8. Rich says:

    Ford has been late and slow to the market. I have a Focus EV as our around town vehicle. I have over 1000+miles on it in about a month. It’s a great vehicle. I think Ford sales will go up as they are going from having 60+ dealers offer them to over 900, and they are now highly incentivizing the leases with $1900 down you can get a 2 year lease for $149/mo at some dealers or what I got ($199/mo) at many.

  9. Future Leaf Driver says:

    “We [Ford] don’t really see the battery electric vehicle as a major player.”

    Then why bother selling them??? Kevin Layden is probably not planning on staying with Ford much longer since he and the company probably don’t have a clue of how to market EVs!!!

  10. Hal says:

    At 149 to 199 per month plus 3000 kw at 10 cents per kw in Midwest driving electric costs less then the price of gasoline for most vehicles. There are 13000 EVSE chargers and 36000 car owners already connected at http://www.mychargepoint.net who did the math.