Wednesday, May 11, 2011



Is Your City Ready for Electric Vehicles?

Be prepared: It’s the motto of the Boy Scouts, but it seems fairly apropos for metropolitan areas when it comes to accommodating the volume of new electric vehicles on the horizon. And that is exactly why Ford is working with cities around the country to identify ways to prepare for the plug-in vehicles, such as the Focus Electric later this year.

“As more and more electric vehicles come to market, it’s incredibly important that cities develop action plans, including infrastructure development and permitting solutions, to ensure these vehicles are a viable solution for citizens,” said Mike Tinskey, the Ford Manager of Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure.

While the existing electric grid has plenty of capacity to support electric vehicles, the key for local utilities will be to offer incentives so customers will charge at night or off-peak times to minimize demand on the grid. There also will need to be an urban planning approach to optimize public/commercial electric vehicle charge locations, meaning they would be used often and be an efficient use of investment dollars. Ford has been encouraged by specialized approaches some cities are taking to support electric vehicles. For example, Boston, New York City and Philadelphia are looking into opportunities to promote travel between the cities by electric vehicle. Additionally, each city is hiring an electric vehicle policy coordinator to help improve efficiency of the permitting processes.

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First Look at the 2013 Ford Taurus and Taurus SHO

It’s difficult to pick the most noteworthy feature of the 2013 Ford Taurus, but let’s start with how the flagship sedan manages to make a bit of automotive history: It is the first car in the Ford North America lineup to offer the new 2.0-liter EcoBoost™ engine. Beyond that, the new Taurus also touts improved fuel economy, more smart technology, a fresh look and additional safety features. And did we mention the Taurus SHO is the sportiest model yet to wear the performance badge? But more on that one in a minute.

The 2.0-liter EcoBoost combines a turbocharger with gasoline direct injection, and is expected to deliver best-in-class highway fuel economy of at least 31 mpg, as well as an estimated 237 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque. Meanwhile, the standard 3.5-liter V6 is projected to deliver unsurpassed fuel efficiency among V6 segment competitors while still delivering increased performance, with an anticipated 290 horsepower. Both engines are mated to unique six-speed automatic transmissions that offer optimized gear selection for off-the-line power delivery in lower gears, while benefiting fuel economy with higher gears that keep the engine turning efficiently at lower revolutions while cruising.


Ford Edge is a Top Safety Pick

Raise your hand if you were a kid whose parents let you ride in the very back of the family station wagon on road trips, rolling from side to side during left and right turns. Anyone? All of us? It would have been difficult to imagine back then that there would come a day in which we would be driving vehicles so advanced in safety technology, our days as human cargo would become merely an eye-rolling memory. Times have sure changed – now, driver and occupant safety are a priority for buyers when considering a vehicle purchase.

Those are a priority for Ford too, from bumper to bumper. Ford now has 10 vehicles on the road in the U.S. that have earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick rating. Among them is the 2011 Edge (for models built after February 2011).