Ford EcoBoost Demand Booms as Overall EV Sales Soften
May 2, 2012 11:24 AM
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Consumers choose fuel efficient normal vehicles over EVs and hybrids
Despite the fact that gas prices are at record levels in many parts of the country, the sales of electric vehicles are still falling. Many consumers are staying away from electric vehicles due to the relatively high cost of entry and range anxiety (in the case of the Nissan Leaf).
Two of the most popular electric vehicles in the country are the
and the Nissan Leaf. The Volt isn't a traditional electric vehicle; rather it's an extended range hybrid that runs on battery power and features a generator to recharge the battery for extended driving. GM says that in the month of April 2012 1,462 Volts were sold, which represents 200% increase from April of 2011 when 493 were sold.
April was the second best month for retail sales of Volt cars since it launched in 2010. Interestingly, the good month for Volt sales comes not long after
GM suspended production
of the car due to soft demand.
Chevrolet Volt sales are up.
While sales of the Volt were up, the Nissan Leaf saw sales fall 35% with only 370 units sold. Nissan hopes to sell 20,000 Leaf EVs this year, and will have to sell over 2200 monthly to meet that goal.
While electric vehicle sales are down, Ford has a booming business with its fuel-efficient
. Ford has announced that it has started a third shift at the Cleveland plant that builds EcoBoost engines.
The addition of a third shift to the engine building plant will add 250 jobs. However, most of those positions will be filled by employees that are transferring from a different Cleveland engine plant that will be placed on idle later this week.
The 2013 Ford Fusion will offer two EcoBoost four-cylinder engine options.
"Our engine plant in Cleveland is the first and only facility in North America to produce EcoBoost engines, and we are tripling production capacity to meet customers' growing needs for fuel-efficient engines," said Ford Americas President Mark Fields during a celebration with employees at the plant Tuesday. "EcoBoost engines are a key part of our plan to give customers the power of choice — from EcoBoost-powered vehicles and hybrids, to plug-in hybrids and full electrics."
Ford's EcoBoost engine has found its way the under the hood of everything from
small economy vehicles
. EcoBoost engines use a smaller displacement engine with turbochargers for increased power and fuel efficiency.
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RE: Makes perfect sense
5/2/2012 2:47:58 PM
Another thing that hybrid opponents overlook is the fact that full hybrids are smoother and quieter than gasoline-only cars. Or how about full torque from the electric motors at 0 RPM? This technology has been used in diesel locomotives for decades but it's only finally made its way into the consumer automotive market. I have a Toyota hybrid and fuel efficiency was the last thing on my mind when I went car shopping.
RE: Makes perfect sense
5/3/2012 9:43:05 AM
And that torque peaks equally quickly.
Yes electric motors can deliver good low end performance. Doesn't take away from the fact that batteries are heavy and expensive.
As far as smoothness and quietness, if the slight noise of the engine of most cars today (assuming you hear it at all) bothers you, maybe you need to be a little less anal. In stock form I could barely hear my cars engine. And as far as smoothness, that depends on how I drive it.
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