Ford endorses electric cars before the SAE World Congress

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A small, single-passenger electric car is parked at a sidewalk charging station.

Small electric cars like this haven't caught on in the U.S., but consumers there are finally catching on to the idea of green vehicles. (Photo: Flickr)

Electric cars have been around since the beginning of automobile history, but their lower speed, high battery cost, limited range between chargings, charging time and overall battery lifespan have limited their commercial appeal. However, as Ford Motor Company’s Executive Chairman Bill Ford suggested to the 2010 SAE World Congress, the market is changing fast. Mainstream consumers, reports the Detroit Free Press, are buying into the idea of electric cars like never before. As long as consumers know what they’re looking for in electric cars, they can help drive the trend forward.

Electric cars | Breaking the mileage barrier

Lack of range has been perhaps the biggest strike against electric cars during their history. But Ford announced plans for “five new high-mileage vehicles” that will help reduce the massive carbon footprint that traditional fossil fuel-burning internal combustion engine vehicles have left behind. Plans for electric cars like the Transit Connect Electric commercial van, Ford Focus electric, two gas-electric hybrids and a plug-in hybrid provide fans of green vehicles good reason to be excited.

Greater fuel economy across the board

In addition to new electric cars, Bill Ford assured the SAE World Congress that the Ford Motor Company is working on greatly improving the fuel efficiency of all of its vehicles. Part of improving fuel efficiency will include technology like Eco-Route software, which will plot the most fuel-efficient route available for the driver. In addition, operating all internal functions of Ford vehicles will become easier and safer, as MyFord Touch consoles will enable drivers to quickly control everything from a single console.

Has Ford recovered from the recession?

“Nobody is getting cocky, or overconfident,” Bill Ford exclaimed. He realizes that the company still has a long way to go, but Ford is determined to lead the green vehicle movement. The company’s stock gained market share in the U.S. and Europe at the end of trading yesterday ($13.76 per share, 41 cents higher than the previous day’s closing). The Free Press indicates that also exceeds the company’s 52-week low ($3.27 per share) more than four times over.

(Photo Credit: / CC BY 2.0)

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