Ford u-turns in EV kerfuffle
Following a seven-day protest at a Sacramento dealership, Ford Motor Co. announced today that it will reverse a decision to repossess and scrap any remaining electric-powered Ranger pickup trucks.
Public outcry on the original decision began with California drivers Bill Korthof and Dave and Heather Raboy who had leased the zero-emissions vehicles from Ford during a new-vehicle pilot program and weren’t quite ready to give them up to the junkyard. They joined with other supporters who staged a round-the-clock sit-in at the downtown car lot. And, according to a press release from Jumpstart Ford, the protestors plan to stay put until Ford follows through on the deal.
But before you applaud Ford on the decision not to renege on the Ranger EV lease agreements, think about all those other decisions Ford has made. Like the 280,000 gas hungry F-150s they produce every year. Or the 12 mpg Excursion SUV.
Of course, there is the new Ford Escape Hybrid SUV the company is touting as “the first American hybrid.” But it’s an SUV, people! It’s like one reader said in a letter to this week’s InterActivist, “buying a hybrid SUV is a bit like drinking a diet coke with a meal from McDonald’s.”
In its Automaker Rankings, the Union of Concerned Scientists listed Ford as having “the absolute worst heat-trapping gas emissions performance of all the Big Six automakers.” And of course there’s the nagging fact that the company has come in dead last in overall average fuel efficiency among the major automakers for the past five years.
But perhaps we should try to focus on the small victories, like today’s decision to allow the Ranger EV lessees to keep their vehicles. It’s a step in the right direction; one small step for Ford, one giant leap for, well, Korthof and the Raboys anyway.