The new chief operating officer at US auto giant Ford has suggested electric vehicles could make up to one-quarter of the car maker’s sales by the end of this decade. In an interview in January with Green Autoblog, Ford COO Mark Fields said his company’s fleet of EVs – including battery, electric, plug-in and hybrids – could make up 10-25% of sales by 2020. As our friends at CleanTechnica have reported, Fields also said that they expected to reach that goal with the help of “electrifying platforms” as compared to electrifying single vehicles.
“Our manufacturing strategy will allow us to flex,” Fields said. “For example, our Wayne [MI] Plant will produce the regular gas-powered Focus, the electric Focus and the C-Max hybrid.” Fields says Ford’s base of electric vehicles will help reach America’s tough new CAFE fuel targets. But he also believes firm consumer interest will be vital in reaching fuel economy targets.
Currently, Ford’s electric vehicle repertoire extends to the Ford Focus, C-Max hybrid, and C-Max Energi. The company needs to lift its green car game, however, as it lags behind other well-known car makers in EV sales, including the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf. In February, there were 1,626 Volts sold, an increase of more than 59 per cent from the previous year, while the Nissan Leaf sold 653 Leafs, a 37 per cent increase from the previous year.
In other news…
New research from carbon and clean energy analytics firm RepuTex has found that a ‘zero carbon price’ scenario would see Australia fall short of the RET by over 50 per cent – a deficit of 21,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) by 2020, with investment in new renewable generation grinding to a halt by FY 14-45. The study has found that, should the carbon price be repealed, the wholesale electricity price would almost halve, in turn driving the price of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to unsupportably high levels, and thereby ensuring that the economics for most large-scale renewable energy projects would simply not stand up.
ASX-listed algal biofuels company Algae.Tec has signed an MOU with WorleyParsons establishing “a framework of support” for the future development of Algae.Tec’s various projects; a number of which – including those in the EU, USA, Australia and Brazil – are in the final stages of technical feasibility studies. Algae.Tec, which was ranked by Lux Research as the leading algae business in 2013, has developed a high-yield enclosed algae growth and harvesting system, the McConchie-Stroud System. The Company was founded in 2007 and has offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Perth, Western Australia.
Strategic consulting, technical engineering and construction services firm MWH Global has announced plans to buy Outback Ecology, an Australian environmental consultancy associated with the natural resources and mining industry for more than 20 years. MWH says the acquisition provides an opportunity to combine the company’s current product offerings for the resources and energy industries with Outback Ecology’s specialised services in this area.