Green IT: Ford Previews Parade of New Electrical Vehicles
Electricity as a power plant for motor vehicles goes back much further than most people think. Back in 1914the year World War I beganthe president of the Minneapolis Buggy Company wrote a letter to two men, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, suggesting that they meet and talk about the possibility of using clean electrical power for automobiles, rather than gasoline combustion engines. Being heavily invested in gasoline engines since 1899, Ford thought about it but tabled the idea for mass production. Although electric vehicles are often used in specific sectors, (golf carts, public transit and others), they haven't yet become a staple of the world's personal transportation. Now all the major car companies are developing electric-powered vehicles. As for Ford, it's taken more than 95 years, but today the automaker has four categories of higher mileage and electrified vehicles either on the roads or in development: EcoBoost gasoline engines, Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid and Battery Electric. EcoBoost engines are designed to inject a precisely metered amount of fuel directly into the combustion chamber. When this is combined with turbo charging, customers get better performance and fewer trips to the gas pump. The EcoBoost design will deliver the power and torque of a V-8 engine with the fuel efficiency of a V-6. Ford plans to deliver EcoBoost across the full range of its product portfolio, from small cars to large trucks, by 2013. The earliest Battery Electric models will be ready for sale in 2010, with the others rolling out by 2012. In a San Francisco demonstration on Oct. 22, the company rolled out an Escape Plug-In Hybrid and an all-electric Focus. This slide show will take a closer look at the technology inside those two models.