Between the CES 2011 in Los Vegas and the Detroit Auto show the next week, Ford unvieled 3 hybrids/electric vehicles that directly compete with hybrid/electric offerings by three competitors. Ford did this very effectively by using new models for the US market such that these will look fresh and different when they get to the dealer show rooms.
Hybrid Van/Utility Vehicle
This is a new category. Nobody has a vehicle now satisfying an obvious demand for a people mover for families in the suburbs efficiently.
Competitor : Toyota Prius V. This was announced in the just concluded Detroit Auto Show 2011. Prius V is the bigger sibling of the successful Prius hybrid. It will be a 5 seater with about 40 mpg combined fuel efficiency.
Again this is a new category. Nobody has a vehicle now satisfying an obvious demand for a people mover for families in the suburbs using little gas - but also with the ability to travel far when needed on gas. But, there is a plug-in hybrid that GM has just started selling, though it is a 4 seater car.
A pure electric car that runs on battery alone is the holy grail of emission free vehicles. This is the only sustainable answer in the personal transportation area to the twin threats of Climate Change and Peak Oil.
Competitor : Nissan LEAF. Announced in April 2010, Nissan started delivering Leafs in December 2010. Nissan has stunned the auto world by pricing the car at a very affordable 25,000 after tax credits. It does 100 miles on a charge. I've one ordered which I should get within the next month.