Ford Boosting Production of Hybrids

Ford Motor Co. chairperson and CEO Bill Ford announced last week that his company will make hybrid gas-electric versions of half of its models across its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicle line-ups by 2010. Perhaps not coincidentally, the announcement comes on the heels of record high gas prices around the country.

Ford's 2006 Escape hybrid

“We know that our customers are concerned about energy,” Bill Ford told reporters. “Our job is to alleviate some of their concerns with viable options in their choice of transportation.”

According to Ford, the automaker plans to produce 250,000 of the gas-saving hybrids over the next five years. The company currently offers two hybrid SUV models in its current line-up (see the consumer guide to 2006 hybrid models in the upcoming November/December 2005 issue of E Magazine). Hybrid vehicles incorporate separate gas and electric drivetrains in order to boost fuel efficiency.

By 2008, Ford will have five hybrids on the road, including the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Mazda Tribute in addition to the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner now available. Bill Ford has also announced a pilot program of offsetting the greenhouse gases produced in the manufacture of hybrid vehicles.