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News Link • Transportation

Ford’s Alan Mulally on the Future of Driving

•, By Michael V. Copeland
Ford is making bets on all those propulsion systems, because what drivers need and want, versus how global energy markets are going to shake out is far from clear even for a massive auto manufacturer. “We don’t know what is going to be the preferred long-term solution,” Mulally says. “The point of view we have is that we are all going to be paying more for energy worldwide.”

With that as a starting point, Ford is focusing on bringing better fuel efficiency and increased CO2 reduction to its entire lineup of cars and trucks, whether it’s internal combustion or electricity moving the wheels. “It’s clear we need to invest in all of those because we don’t know which one is going to come along the fastest,” Mulally says. It’s simple economics, he adds.

How people make choices will depend a great deal on how quickly energy prices rise, and whether battery technologies in particular become economic in comparison. “Right now a battery costs $15,000 for a 100-mile range,” Mulally says. “Now, as energy goes up, you can start to make a case for the economics of all-electric. But the most important thing is finding a way to manufacture electric batteries in a cost-efficient way.” 

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