Green Autos Pipeline
Ford will start selling a plug-in hybrid commercial vehicle in 2010 and a Ford Focus-based battery-electric in 2011. Next-generation Ford hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles arrive in 2012.
Several pure EV or range-extended EV Chrysler vehicles debut in 2013. For the past year and a half Chrysler has been developing battery technology it will integrate into its minivan, Jeep Wrangler, Patriot, Dodge Circuit, commercial minivan and 200C concept car.
The Chevrolet Volt starts rolling off the General Motors assembly line in November 2010. It is a mid-size, range-extended EV. While a hybrid’s internal combustion engine does the work at speeds over 30 mph, a Volt will still be propelled by battery electricity at 70. “There is a big difference in how much gasoline you use,” says Robert Peterson, General Motors’ electrified vehicles media spokesperson. A penny or two will pay for a mile of travel in the Volt, whereas a gasoline-powered car costs ten to twelve cents per mile in fuel.
“Is GM’s recovery all rested on the Volt? No.” Peterson asks. “ Is the technology an important part of our recovery? Absolutely.”
Likewise, Ford views green vehicles as a big part of what will keep it strong. Ford’s new direct-injected and turbo-charged EcoBoost technology allows a smaller V6 engine to keeps its fuel economy while delivering performance and torque like a larger V8 engine.
Electric cars are also expected to help save Chrysler. “Without a doubt, electric vehicle technology is a necessity for any automaker,” says Chrysler’s Nick Cappa.