Ford Betting on Hybrid Cars

Ford Motor is making a bet that the future of cars turn to to be dominated by hybrid vehicles. This view is one most large automakers such as Toyota are sharing. Contrary to to exciting start ups like Tesla Motors, Ford thinks that 25% of auto sales will be electric by the end of the decade, but predicts that 90% of these sales will come in the form of hybrids. Ford points out that hybrid vehicles have two very distinct advantages over electric cars. First, it is cheaper to make hybrid cars that use a gas motor combined with a smaller electric batter to move the car. This is in large part because electric batteries are very expensive. Electric batteries in hybrid cars are very small compared to fully electric vehicles. This has been able to keep the cost of hybrid vehicles down while keeping the cost of fully electric cars high. And second, hybrid cars resemble a driving experience to a normal a car. There are many advantages to this such as refueling of a hybrid car. Hybrid cars rely on gas motors for most of the driving, which allow the car to be refueled at any gas station. Electric cars can only be charged at home, allowing for the occurrence of the car to run out of gas far away from an owners charger.

Despite Ford’s prediction on hybrid vehicles, Ford is making sure it is capable of producing fully electric vehicles if their prediction were to be proved wrong. One of the strategies Ford uses is to build different power sources for its already existing cars. This can be seen in a fully electric vehicle such as the upcoming electric focus. Ford can increasing or decrease production based on demand. They can also be built on existing assembly lines right along with the existing models. This allows Ford to test the market conservatively, as they can scrap the power source but keep model if demand was not there. This conservative strategy is a way to test the market but also keep the high costs of producing a new car to a minimal. Ford is using a very smart operation management strategy with regards to its hybrid and electric cars. This will allow the automaker to keep up with demand and keep inventory to a minimum to save costs.

Is Ford’s prediction right about hybrid vehicles dominating the market? Or will other fully electric vehicles such as the Tesla Model S and the Nissan Leaf be the next big car of the decade?

4 thoughts on “Ford Betting on Hybrid Cars

  1. I think that things will ultimately move towards fully electric but that hybrids will likely dominate in the near/ medium term as society transitions. The problem with fully electric cars is really an infrastructure issue. It isn’t that there isn’t electricity available. It’s that there aren’t electric “gas stations” so for now, the only place to charge is at home. No one will build a charging station before more people own electric vehicles. Most people won’t buy an electric car because there aren’t convenient charging options available. There is also the fact that you can’t simply “fill it up” and drive off. If I remember correctly, electric vehicles takes time to charge up, so people can’t just refuel and keep going. It’s going to take a social and behavioral shift. How people use vehicles will have to fundamentally change, first.

  2. I think that electric cars will dominate the market in the future. As you stated that electric cars are more expensive to produce because of the battery, I think gas prices are only going to be rising and consumers are not going to want to purchase a car where they will have to pay for gas. In the near future I see people purchasing hybrid cars just because they are still new in the market and for the testing out sake of jumping from a gas car to an only electric car. I heard that gas stations will be starting to have places where you can charge your car and also dealerships that sell an electric car will have a station location where you can charge your car.

  3. At this moment of time, I think that Ford is on the right track. Hybrid cars are just like normal gasoline cars, which means consumers can drive anywhere anytime without having to worry about running low in electricity. Electric cars are great, they’re just not ready yet and by this I mean they are not as reliable as hybrid cars. Because first of all consumers cannot drive long trips with electric cars. Secondly, even if there were electric stations all over the country, it takes about 7 hours for an electric car to be fully charged. In my opinion, I think Ford should focus more on making and developing Hydrogen cars. first of all, Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe so it will never run out. Secondly, it is cheaper and more efficient than hybrids (20$ can drive you approximately 280miles at an equivalent of 74MPG). Last but not least, Hydrogen cars have zero carbon dioxide emission so its even more eco-friendly than hybrid cars.

  4. I think Ford’s strategy to “keep options open” is probably the best thing they can do right now. But to say that their gas/electric Hybrids will dominate in the future is something they should be weary of. The automobile industry is already trying to find new fuel sources such as hydrogen or compressed natural gas. Electric cars are just starting to get a foothold. In the near future the demand for them could be high since they have already been introduced and just need a cause (historically high gas prices) to become popular.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *