Ford Commits to Four New Hybrid Vehicles in Next Three Years
January 12, 2005
Ford Motor Company announced on January 10th that it will launch four new hybrid electric vehicles over the next three years, starting with the Mercury Mariner Hybrid sport utility vehicle (SUV), which will go on sale later this year. That vehicle will be followed by the Mazda Tribute Hybrid SUV in 2007 and the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid mid-size sedans in 2008. All four will be "full" hybrids, which operate in electric-only mode at low speeds. See the Ford press release.
Ford made the announcement at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, where Ford also unveiled its Mercury Meta One concept car, a hybrid vehicle that uses a twin-turbocharged V-6 diesel engine to produce as much torque as a V-10 gasoline engine, but with much lower fuel consumption. Ford claims the vehicle can also meet strict emission standards. See the Ford press release.
General Motors Corporation (GM) also announced during the auto show that it will make 12 different hybrid models in the future, based on its highest-volume global car and truck platforms and using three distinct hybrid propulsion systems. GM unveiled two hybrid-electric concept vehicles: the Opel Astra Diesel Hybrid, which combines Opel's 1.7-liter diesel engine with one 30-kilowatt and one 40-kilowatt motor, achieving 25 percent better fuel economy in the two-door sedan; and the GMC Graphyte SUV, which combines two electric motors with a V-8 engine featuring GM's Displacement on Demand technology. Both vehicles use GM's two-mode full hybrid system, which will be incorporated into the GMC Yukon and Chevy Tahoe in 2007. GM announced in December that it would work with DaimlerChrysler AG to further develop the two-mode hybrid system for a variety of vehicles. See the GM press releases for the Opel Astra Diesel Hybrid and the GMC Graphyte. For additional information on the two concept vehicles, including photos, select "Concepts" on the GM 2005 NAIAS Web page, or you can view the Webcast or peruse the text of GM's press conference at the NAIAS.