Ford plans to crush all its electric Th!nk cars despite being offered US$1million for them. Ford is crushing this environmental solution because it succeeded in trashing the California legislation that encouraged their use.
Why is a global corporation courting even worse publicity and
going back on numerous promises to improve the environmental
credentials of its cars? The vehicle is popular with consumers -
there were waiting lists to buy the cars after a hugely popular
leasing period started in 2001. Zero-emission cars reduce urban
smog. When charged by electricity from renewable sources, they help
fight the biggest threat to our planet - climate change.
With record oil prices forcing gasoline prices up, they are also
a sound economic choice. Popular, clean and efficient, shouldn't
this be part of the future of transport rather than being reduced
to small cubes of scrap?
Surprisingly, money doesn't seem to be the motivation. Even if
Ford doesn't want the cars, a Norwegian firm has plenty of
customers and has offered US$1 million for them. Ford hasn't even
replied to the offer. So we've launched a campaign to tell
Ford to send these cars to people who want them.
Could it be that Ford intends to prevent the emergence of a
zero-emission electric vehicles industry? Ford originally brought
the Norwegian Th!ink car company in 1999. However while Ford and
other car companies produced electric vehicles they where working
to gut the clean air regulations in California that made them
This behind-the-scenes lobbying to halt progressive legislation
is not the kind of thing that appears in the glossy, soft-focus
company promo material. But it is a top priority of many US
carmakers. Public statements instead highlighted the supposedly
progressive work Ford was doing. In 2000 CEO William C Ford said:
"Ford Motor Company also has been a leader in the development of
clean-running alternative fuel vehicles. We are the world's leading
producer and seller of electric vehicles. We've just launched an
entire new brand - THINK."
But with the dirty work of killing the clean air regulation in
California completed in 2002, Ford dumped its commitment to
electric cars faster than you can say "SUV" and sold off Th!nk.
This means business as usual for the automakers, producing bigger,
thirstier cars every year without the burden of regulation in the
Ford's current fleet of cars is actually less efficient than the
80-year-old Model-T Ford. You read that right - 80 years of
corporate 'leadership' at Ford has meant no better fuel efficiency
than 1920's technology!
Electric cars are not the complete solution to the environmental
problems of transport. But they are light years better than the
current trend toward big gas-guzzlers that are helping to fuel
In the 21st century we need clean solutions to the problems of transport. Ford is trying to kill one of these solutions. It's time to tell Ford not to scrap the future.
Visit Jumpstartford.com - the
campaign to improve the fuel efficiency of Ford cars.
story on our discussion centre.