Electricity is the new hydrogen, at least as far as Ford is concerned.
Ford now feels that the future of automotive propulsion lies in electricity, not fuel cells or ethanol, according to Derrick Kuzak, the company’s product development chief.
Kuzak said hydrogen fuel cell transportation, which Ford, other automakers and politicians have long cast as a panacea to our energy problems, is not practical due to the massive infrastructure changes it would require. In contrast, he said, electric cars could run off the nation’s existing power grid.
Ford is not alone in its sudden embrace of electricity. Toyota recently announced its plans to build a pure electric vehicle for the Japanese market, and GM’s 2010 Chevrolet Volt will run on batteries with an engine serving only as a back-up generator. Kuzak also said he was skeptical of the long-term viability of gas-electric hybrids, given the cost of incorporating two powertrains for relatively minor fuel efficiency gains.
Pure electric vehicles remain a challenge for automakers due to their short range. Kuzak said Ford will continue to develop all forms of alternative fuel transportation.
Source: Detroit News