NAIAS 2011: Ford’s Chairman Talks EVs, Hybrids

At the North American International Auto Show this week, Ford Motor Company executive chairman William Clay Ford, Jr., spoke with reporters about the company’s future plans for hybrid and electric vehicles. Ford explained that the company will not rely on suppliers as it moves to producing more electric vehicles.

“We are going to have in-house expertise in electric capability, and that’s very important to us. However, just like when we deal with companies that make axles or other components, we will certainly rely upon suppliers to come to us with innovation and that’s really no different than any other supply relationship that we have. The in-house capability of Ford in electric vehicles is something that we think is very important and that we are building.”

Ford also touched upon his belief that prices of batteries in electric vehicles will decrease as production volumes increase:

“If you just look at other technologies, the way they’ve been developed, it should come down as volume starts to ramp up and familiarity with the technology starts to get better. We do expect [battery costs] to come down and we’re working very closely with the suppliers in that regard.”

The Motrolix Take

The Blue Oval’s decision to develop electric drivetrains in-house is one of epic magnitude that — in our opinion — will pay off in the long term. As electric vehicles become a sizable staple of the automotive industry, having one’s own electric propulsion systems will carry the potential of becoming a distinct competitive advantage and even a core competency for a manufacturer; to draw an analogy to the current state of affairs in the industry — most OEMs develop their own gasoline/diesel powerplants rather than source them from suppliers. In that regard, Ford is following General Motors in its decision to keep development of electric components in-house.

Source: Autoblog Green

The Motrolix staff is comprised of automotive enthusiasts and fanatics from all walks of life and all over the world. They do it for the love of cars.

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