Sunday, January 11, 2009

Project M? Ford's Electrifying Secret...Kinda

Why didn't Ford take any of the auto industry loan? They have a secret "Project M" in the works, and it's coming a couple of years? I hope they can wait that long. Here's the video and details, compliments of the N.Y. Times:

Inside the Ford Motor Company, it was called Project M — to build a prototype of a totally electric, battery-powered car in just six months. “Frankly, I think it’s a gamble not to do it,” William C. Ford Jr., the company’s executive chairman, said in an interview. “It’s clear that society is headed down this road.”

Most of the prospective electric models need to be charged for several hours to cover a day’s worth of driving. Ford estimates that its car will need at least a six-hour charge to travel 100 miles. The Volt can get 40 miles on battery power alone, and it has a small gasoline engine that drives a generator to extend its range.

Americans, on average, drive their cars less than 35 miles a day, according to the latest federal statistics, and the industry is likely to play up that fact in its advertising campaigns. Ford and its supplier partner, the Canadian firm Magna International, built the Project M prototype in the body of a Ford Focus compact car. It is planning a more distinctive design for the finished product when it goes on the market in two years.

The modest expectations for initial sales are reflected in Ford’s plan for introducing the car at the auto show Sunday. There won’t be the usual dry ice, flashing lights and pounding music.
Instead, there will be a simple announcement at a news conference, and the car will be parked on the street in front of the convention center, available for short test drives by journalists through downtown Detroit.

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