Ford Promises to Re-Think Crushing Th!nk Electric Cars

  • Automaker commits to respond by September 15.
  • Human rights and environmental groups call on Bill Ford, Jr. to live up to his green image.
  • Published: 26-Aug-2004

    San Francisco – Following three days of grassroots pressure this week in San Francisco and Oslo, Ford Motor Company has committed to ‘reconsider’ the fate of its Th!nk all-electric, zero emission vehicles, the most efficient cars in its oil addicted fleet.  The company says that it will respond by September 15, 2004.  Global Exchange, Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network followed up by sending a letter to Ford CEO Bill Ford, Jr. calling on him to live up to his environmentalist image, scrap plans to crush its U.S. fleet of Th!nk EVs and accept a purchase offer from Norwegian automaker Elbil Norge. Human rights and environmental leaders requested that Ford meet immediately with concerned citizens to map out an environmental recovery plan that will end the automaker’s five year oil binge and put it on the road to a zero emissions future.  
    The August 25, 2004 letter states, “Please, accept Elbil Norge’s offer to repatriate these cars to Norway. And after you have taken that first step, please remember that Ford has long been a symbol of American innovation. Your great grandfather Henry Ford pioneered the assembly line, and you can do the same for fossil-fuel free vehicles. When John F. Kennedy said in 1961 that we would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, no one knew how. It is time for America’s flagship automaker to recapture its innovative spirit and chart a new course to a zero emissions future.”
    Ford’s fuel efficiency fiasco intensified in 2000, the year Ford sunk to the bottom of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rankings, and Bill Ford, Jr. made his now infamous broken promise to improve the fuel efficiency of his company’s gas guzzling SUVs 25 percent by 2005. The EV car crushing controversy began in 2002 after auto industry pressure gutted California’s progressive Zero Emissions Mandate paving the way for Ford to summarily abandon the Th!nk and its infant EV program.
    According to the EPA, the overall average fuel efficiency of Ford’s fleet today is 18.8 mpg, dead last among the top six automakers for the fifth consecutive year. From subcompacts to SUVs, Ford's current cars and trucks gets fewer miles per gallon on average than its Model-T did 80 years ago. Ford's widely touted 'eco-friendly' Rouge River plant features a water-preserving green roof, yet manufactures 280,000 gas-guzzling F-150s a year, generating up to 100 tons of atmospheric carbon a piece over each truck's lifetime. Marketed as “the first American hybrid,” Ford's so-called 'no compromise' Escape represents less than one half of one percent of its fleet and will have virtually no impact on its last place fuel efficiency ranking.



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