Ford Motor plans for energy-poor future

by William Yeatman on October 12, 2004

in Blog

Ford Motor Company appears to be making plans to join companies that look forward to increasing constraints on hydrocarbon energy use as a business opportunity.

 According to the New York Times (Oct. 4), Ford’s goal, according to its own internal projections, would require an improvement of about 80 percent in the fuel economy of its cars and trucks by 2030, according to people who have been informed of the plan.  The goal was laid out by the company’s chairman, William Clay Ford Jr., and other executives at a meeting on August 3 at their headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.

 The Times suggests that Ford has based its strategy on computer models of carbon emissions.  The company is studying long-range product-development strategies to reach its goal, the report says, and has not yet established shorter-range targets.  Among those strategies could be more reliance on hybrid technology or other advances, like cleaner diesel engines and hydrogen fuel cells.

 Fords strategy has already won plaudits from its usual foes in the environmentalist movement.  Daniel Becker of the Sierra Club told the Times, This is a stunning change of direction for Ford, whose emissions are greater than all of Mexico.  This really is a better idea. We will continue to work with them to ensure that they implement this commitment.

 There are signs that the new direction was the result of alarmist pressure.  In May, commenting on the release of the scientifically absurd The Day After Tomorrow, Mr. Ford said, If you look at where society is headed, whether it’s the Kyoto compact, whether it’s the Hollywood movie that’s coming out this summer on global warming, all of those things will truly have an impact on the debate.  I don’t want Ford to be caught unaware or for us to be always saying, No, we can’t do something.

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