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Ford C-Max Hybrid

Ford Focus Electric
Ford will not bring 7-passenger C-max to U.S.

The move is on to more fuel-efficient power trains for vehicles of all sorts. New, smaller and more efficient engines aren't only coming to compact cars; they are also coming to larger full size trucks and other vehicles. Ford is one of the manufacturers at the forefront of the tech push to make all of its vehicle models more efficient.

One of the most popular and interesting of the fuel-efficient vehicles is the Ford F-150 truck with the EcoBoost V6 engine option. A very significant number of those trucks are being sold with this powertrain. The impressive thing is that while the EcoBoost is more efficient, it also has similar power output as the V8 trucks offer.

Now Ford has announced that it will up the yearly production of hybrid and electric vehicles from 35,000 yearly to 100,000 yearly. Ford will focus on the five-passenger C-Max Hybrid and the all-electric Energi. This move will make the C-Max/Energi the only vehicles in the Ford fleet that aren’t offered in gasoline engine-only versions.

Jim Farley, Ford's vice president of marketing said, "The way we're executing our electric vehicles is a little different than other companies. We're not electrifying a certain vehicle and making a science project for a few people. We're electrifying our core (models)."

The increase in hybrid and electric vehicles also includes the current hybrids Ford offers like the Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, and the Escape SUV. Ford also recently announced that it would be making an increased investment into three plants in Michigan of $135 million and added 220 jobs to help build five new electric models by 2012.

The Detroit News reports about 170 of the 220 new jobs will be in the Rawsonville factory where the batteries for the EVs will be assembled.

In addition to the new C-Max and Energi, Ford will also add the all-electric Focus to the lineup next year. At this point, however, Ford is still not offering many details on the Focus electric with respect to how far the car will be able to drive on a single charge (100 miles would be a good guess). 

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RE: all well and good...
By Solandri on 6/12/2011 3:52:22 AM , Rating: 5
"Studies have estimated that the cost of the accident at Fukushima may rise as high as $250 billion over the next 10 years.

The world produces about 2500 TWh of electricity from nuclear power per year.

Average electricity prices worldwide are about $0.15-$0.20/kWh.

2500 TWh * [0.15 to 0.2] $/kWh = $375-$500 billion. The world gets $375-$500 billion worth of electricity per year from nuclear power. Over the last 40 years, nuclear power has generated about 52,000 TWh, or $7.8-$10.4 trillion worth of electricity. You're suggesting we should throw all that away because one of just two catastrophic nuclear accidents in 60 years might cost $250 billion?
The nuclear fuel in three of the reactors at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant has melted through the base of the pressure vessels and is pooling in the outer containment vessels, according to a report by the Japanese government.

The findings of the report, which has been given to the International Atomic Energy Agency, were revealed by the Yomiuri newspaper, which described a 'melt-through' as being 'far worse than a core meltdown" and "the worst possibility in a nuclear accident.'"

If you google my name here, on slashdot, and on the, you'll see I'm not one to downplay the dangers of nuclear accidents nor radioactive substances. If people are downplaying the risks, I will call them out on it (mostly seems to be happening with the danger from Cesium-137). I do, however, try to put those risks in proper perspective. Statistically, for nuclear to become as dangerous as wind (the second safest power generation technology), Fukushima would have to kill on the order of 10,000 people.

Nuclear is one of those very, very safe technologies (the safest power source man has invented, statistically), which has the occasional very rare, but very bad accident. Consigning it to the trash bin because of those rare accidents (only 2 in history thus far) would be like banning commercial air travel. It too has the best safety record in its industry and accidents are very rare, but each accident kills a lot more people than most other transportation accidents. Consequently, some people develop an irrational fear of flying.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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