A Q&A with Mike Tinskey, the man behind Ford's electric future

11

Ford, like the entirety of the auto industry, is in a cycle of rapid change: The planet is getting hotter. Fossil fuel, regardless of price, is falling out of favor. Young people don't want to own cars as badly as they used to. Services like Uber and Lyft are upending the notion of personal transportation altogether.

That makes Mike Tinskey's job a particularly interesting one. Tinskey is Ford's global director of electrification and infrastructure — that is to say, it's on him to make sure electric cars and hybrids get into customers' hands and work well for them. He's also heavily involved with some of Ford's future mobility projects — the suite of forward-looking ideas cast by Ford CEO Mark Fields at CES earlier this year — which means he's got a very full schedule, indeed.

I had a chance to speak with Tinskey before a panel at the Tribeca Film Festival this week, where he was planning to talk about future trends in transportation. We met at a nearby coffee shop in the heart of Manhattan, one of the most car-unfriendly locales in the world.

Chris Ziegler: If you could just give me an overview of the projects that you’re responsible for?

Mike Tinskey: Yeah, so, I like to describe my role as a bit of the clean tech.

It’s a very interesting-sounding title. I was intrigued.

My title is Global Director of Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure. It really reflects the roots of my group, which is, "how do we make our electric vehicles successful around the world?" So that’s where we really started — how do we work with the grid operators, how do we integrate our vehicles, how do we get the standards, how do we get the charge station into the customers’ garages. And then the group grew, and we really started to focus on mobility and sustainability.

So I’m actually part of a group called Sustainability — so think about all the things you do in a vehicle that waste time or energy… finding parking or car-sharing programs and how can we make those more efficient? How can we recharge an electric vehicle faster? How do we attack some of these challenging mobility challenges that are hitting us? Cities like [New York] that are growing, and the number of magnet cities in the world are actually increasing. So what my group does is both advanced projects and current solutions that solve alternative fuel, electrification, and mobility solutions.

So not strictly EVs?

No, no. So yeah, what I’ll talk about [at the Tribeca Film Festival] is a couple of those projects that we’re doing, which are mobility related. So for example, say, if you had to carry on your back the amount of energy that you use, what does that look like over time? From the 1800s to now? And what is in that backpack — is it wood or coal? So I’ll be talking a little bit about how that’s evolved over time and how renewables have really impacted what you would have in your backpack and the challenges that come with that, too. How can we, as a vehicle manufacturer, help solve some of the grid challenges that come from that? So that’s kind of the Cliff’s Notes version.

So Toyota, just about an hour ago, put out another big push on the Mirai, which I’m sure you’re familiar with. I know that hydrogen is a very controversial topic, even in the alternative fuel world, and if I’m not mistaken at one time Ford had a fuel cell program, maybe on the Focus? Many years ago. I’m wondering, what happened to that, and what’s Ford’s current view of hydrogen in general?

Yeah, so, Ford is very much in the "power of choice" camp, where we will take a single platform and we’ll offer it in multiple powertrains. And we’ll let the customers tell us what works for them. And so, a great example is, say, the Ford Focus. We offer it as a diesel in Europe, we offer it in gasoline here, in pure electric here, and the customer can tell us what works for them. And that’s our approach.

So when you talk about hydrogen and how does it fit, we very much take a similar view. We have an active partnership with Daimler and Nissan to develop a fuel cell. We’re doing a lot of our research work up in a lab we have in Vancouver. The challenge with fuel cells isn’t necessarily in the stack; it’s really infrastructure related. How do you get the hydrogen produced and distributed economically to make them viable? So if there’s some public-private partnerships and infrastructure and it becomes more viable, I think that will be the tipping point of whether or not hydrogen will be successful.

So speaking of infrastructure, what’s the state of the art with fast charging? Is [fragmentation of standards] a concern for you? Where do you stand on that?

Well, if you look at it today, you’re right, there’s a lot of vying for who’s going to have the future standard. You have CHAdeMO, you have Supercharger, and you have combo or SAE, which is all the other automakers. If you were to map out the number of electric vehicles or plug-in vehicles that are going to have each connector, I think you’d quickly find that the combo connector will be the most widely supported. So we’re bullish on that coupler, and we’re fully supporting it.

But what’s happening is something that’s pretty interesting — if you were to rewind a couple years ago, we were talking about battery swapping because you can’t charge the batteries fast enough, and we’re seeing — in fact, we’re even doing an experiment on how fast can we charge. So one of our mobility projects is how quickly can we get energy into a lithium ion battery, and what is the limit of that. And what are the limits of the infrastructure? In other words, what will the utilities allow us to provide during peak times? And frankly, that whole space is moving so quickly that I think that very soon — say, next-generation products — we’re going to see 150 kilowatts. So today, you’ll go out and find a fast charger and it might be 40 kilowatts, maybe 50 kilowatts. I think in the very near future you’re going to see 150 kilowatts. And even some automakers are talking about going further than 150.

On the same connector?

On one connector, yeah. The same connector because it has enough metal to support the higher power. It was really the lithium ion battery at the other end that was the bottleneck. And then the utilities were concerned about drawing that kind of power. So I think what you’re going to see is… I think battery swapping is much, much less likely now. Fast charging is becoming much more fast, high-power. And I think you’re going to see an emergence of these next-generation vehicles become much more capable and then have this fast-charge network that can charge them very quickly so that theoretically the battery electric vehicle doesn’t become a second or third vehicle, it becomes perhaps a primary vehicle.

And we’re talking 200-, 300-mile range on these vehicles?

Yeah, I mean, Ford hasn’t announced our plans, but many manufacturers have announced the next-generation products, and those are coming in with much higher range than their current products. So think about that scenario where you have a BEV that can get those kinds of ranges in an area like Manhattan, that’s plenty of range for your inner city. But if you wanted to go from here to Boston or what have you, now we’re starting to think that you can recharge in 20 minutes, and you can put the stations strategically along freeways, and you end up with a very impactful combination.

And that’s 0 to 100 percent?

That’s 0 to 80 percent. What happens, as you probably know, after 80 percent we have to back off the charging. You can still keep going, but it’s longer time.

So it’s like, what, a couple hours for a full charge?

No, no. On a fast charger? No, it’s 20 minutes to 80, then maybe 35 or 40 minutes to get a full charge. But if you were looking at your value of time, you get the most value by going to 80 percent and then going to the next station.

"Some utilities are very progressive [...] and others are not so progressive."

And so the concerns with utilities have been smoothed over?

No, I would stay there’s still a lot of work to do. There’s this thing called demand charges, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of that. It’s a charge that the utility will pay, and if for just one second you’re using a certain amount of power, you’re charged for the whole month at that level. So the ability to use that power. It’s called a demand charge. And these can be thousands of dollars per month. Even just to have access to the power. So we have to work on that because we’ve got to make it… Some utilities are very progressive and they’ve reduced or eliminated their demand charges for electric vehicle charging, and others are not so progressive.

Talking about these extremely hot, in-demand chargers, I’ve heard several anecdotes now, particularly in California about charger rage. EVs have become successful enough now so that demand significantly outstrips supply for the chargers, especially during the day. Is that something that you’ve looked at at all? Any creative ways to solve that?

So all of our plug-in vehicles have an embedded modem. So when the customer downloads the app, the data is aggregated so we can see how our customers are using the vehicles in terms of charging. And well over 90 percent of them are using home charging, or I guess I should just say nighttime charging. We’re assuming it’s home, but it’s all aggregated, so I don’t know if it is their home. But the point is, this nighttime charging is getting them to where they want to go. So if you look at the order of importance on standard charging, it’s home, then workplace, and then public. And the public is just a couple percent of customers, and frankly, that number’s been going down because what’s happened is those chargers used to be free and now business have enabled to pay for it, and usage has really… I think people were using a lot of those stations because they were free. So, I guess the bottom line is, we’re really putting our focus on home and workplace, and then we’re now talking about how do we work as an industry to do this fast charging and get fast charging out there.

Have you found that the dramatic decline in gasoline prices has sort of shifted your priorities at all? You mentioned that you’re not just working on EVs, but you’re also working on conventional solutions.

I think that in our industry, the deflated fuel prices, we view as a short-term phenomenon. So it hasn’t really impacted any of our long-term strategies. We know where we need to be in the future, and we also know that electrification is probably one of our key enablers in our toolbox, so really our strategy has to change.

I do think that our plug-in hybrids are continuing to do really well, and there are a lot of reasons for that. I mean, if you look at a city like this where you have stop-and-go traffic, you’ve got idle times because of congestion or lights, the plug-in hybrid is a great product. And it’s driven all of our accessories into electric. So our air conditioner compressor is electric, so you get all the creature comforts, and your engine’s not running. You’re just drawing the minimum amount of power you need. And so we’re really seeing that. And every time you stop, that energy’s going back into the battery with [regenerative] braking. So those products I just see proliferating even more.

Focus Electric
The Ford Focus Electric.


Is there a lot of technology sharing between those groups? Between the hybrid group and the EV group? Or are they very independent projects?

In fact, they’re one group. Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicle group is all one group. And the same teams launch all those technologies.

I’m assuming that you’re very tightly integrated with the announcements at CES this year, which were sort of bonkers future visions.

I like that, "bonkers." [Laughter.]

It’s interesting to see how tightly integrated Ford has become with CES, which was not an auto show at all 10 years ago, and now it’s the auto show to kick off the year. But they were all very non-conventional announcements, right? So talk a little bit about those and what you’re most excited about and what you’re most heavily engaged in right now. What’s the nearest-term to being a real commercial product?

If you were there, you heard sort of the background on why we’re doing these experiments, right? There are 25, and it’s driven a lot by urbanization and changing consumer interest, growing middle class. So those are the pillars. A couple of the experiments that were highlighted there that my group’s actually working on is, one’s called Parking Spotter. So you can imagine as cars are driving down the street right here in front of this shop, they’re able, with an existing sensor on the sides — we have a parking assist that helps you park the vehicle. What we’ve done is create a parking database of all parking in the United States. Just the locations. And one of our prototype vehicles is in one of those locations and driving less than 10 miles per hour, we enable both left and right sensors, so essentially it becomes a probe — a parking probe. So when it drives down a street like this, we’re mapping "occupied, not occupied, not occupied," and then we’re putting it in the cloud for our other customers. So you might want to call it crowdsourced parking.

Infrastructure is very expensive for parking… if you were to put sensors, the traditional ultrasonic sensors cost $500 or $600 per spot. If you were to use cameras, you might be in the $200 to $300 per spot range. And so this technology, which is already on our vehicles, is almost essentially a freebie because it’s just software. So that one’s really interesting… we’ve got a vehicle running down at Georgia Tech that’s testing in all different types of lots, angled parking, parallel parking, back-in parking, front-in parking, and we’ve been really happy with the results.

"We obviously patented the technology, but we haven’t quite figured out what we’re going to do and how we’re going to package it."

And so that’s something that will be coming to production vehicles?

Well, no, we’re not that far. So we’re going to go into pilot stage — we’re going to put it on several vehicles, in fact we’re going to ask customers that already have this parking assist feature on their vehicle, we’re going to see if they want to participate. And it’s basically a software change on their vehicle, and then they become probes, and we’ll see how that goes. And then we’ll see where we go from there. But the concept is very sound, right? If you can get all the vehicles looking at parking as they’re driving around, and you get real-time maps, I think it could do a lot for both CO2 from an emissions standpoint, [and] congestion would go down because you know what happens when you’re looking for parking, right? You’re driving slower, you’re distracted. So it can really be a big improvement there.

And that’s a feature where it seems like a rising tide raises all ships. If you share that data with other automakers and they share with you, everybody wins. So have you had discussions with any industry groups?

Well, that’s a really good question. I think the answer is we’re trying to find the right business model. How do we all work together? What does it look like? Is it a third party that aggregates it for us? So I don’t know… we haven’t approached other OEMs yet. We obviously patented the technology, but we haven’t quite figured out what we’re going to do and how we’re going to package it. But to be a little more specific, 2014 was to prove its viability from a technology standpoint, and like I said we’re very pleased. 2015 is, alright, how do we take it to the next level? And that’s where we’re at right now.

Last year, I got a Ford demo at CES of the [vehicle-to-vehicle] stuff, which I thought was very interesting. And that’s getting closer to be a regulatory thing. So is that something that you’re doing anything with? Because I know there are several levels of functionality there.

That’s right. And connectivity in general is going to be great. V2V is going to be there. As you said, it’s regulatory. But we have to get infrastructure in place, which is once again regulated. So we’re going to see it.

One of the other projects that you may have seen at CES is called Remote Repositioning. I’m bridging a little bit to that one, because I think it also answers some of your questions… so the history there is, we noticed car sharing and all of these... Zipcar types of arrangements were becoming more prevalent. In Paris, or maybe even here, the Citibikes, my guess is there’s a truck that goes around at night and puts them back in the right spots. So in Paris there’s the same thing. So we said, isn’t there a technology solution to that? So what we did was we said, what can a cellular network do — you know, your typical AT&T LTE network — and can we put a driver in a vehicle remotely and move those vehicles around at night to get ready for the next day of sharing? And so we recreated in a laboratory three screens, four cameras on the vehicle, we used a golf cart as a surrogate, using just production networks, and we could drive that vehicle from across the country and put it where we want and almost replicate the experience just as if you were in the driver’s seat.

So that one is really interesting to me for a couple reasons. One, it can help put the repositioning at nighttime hours. Two, it could be a virtual valet, so even like in front of here, we could’ve gotten out and then a call center could’ve taken the vehicle and put it in a parking space, so you don’t have to get wet [from the rain] or you don’t have to go hunting for a parking space. Or the other use case that we’re pretty excited about, we’ve been pretty open about our autonomous plans, and that technology is moving and we know we’re going to have it on vehicles in the near future, but we don’t think policy is moving as fast. So perhaps a remote driver during certain conditions or in certain states or in certain areas could augment autonomous.

So you’re saying that from the driver’s perspective, the car will be self-driving, but really there’s someone else driving it from afar for them?

That’s right. If you’ve ever had the pleasure to go to, for instance, China, if you’re not aggressive to try to turn left, there will be people that will walk in front of you all day long. And an autonomous vehicle would end up sitting there forever. And a driver normally just has to kind of say, "Alright, I’m going," and the people will stop and the car heads through. So there are going to be situations where a remote driver can actually pilot a vehicle better than an autonomous in certain conditions. Or just because of policy, that might be the way that we have to deal with it.

So Remote Repositioning is kind of neat because we’re using existing cellular networks, we’re using existing vehicle technology. The cameras are just production cameras, and you can be anywhere in the world. You can assign yourself to this vehicle for five or 10 minutes and put it where it needs to be, link up with the next one, et cetera. So we’re quite encouraged with that one as well.

To what extent are you getting pushback over privacy and security concerns? On that one in particular, but more broadly with any upstream data from the car.

Yeah, so, Ford, you heard this at CES right? Ford has this policy that it’s your data, we’re shepherds of that data, but it’s the customer’s data. We have these privacy principles, and our goal is to be leaders and be good shepherds of the data. We haven’t, frankly, gotten any pushback from our customers. Everything is spelled out and they opt in, et cetera. But we’ve been very careful and we intend to continue to be very careful with how we manage and how we aggregate and how we put in all the mechanisms that we think are necessary to produce that.

"We haven’t, frankly, gotten any pushback from our customers."

So in the case that we just talked about, Remote Repositioning, not only are we using bank-level encryption on that data, but the way we would implement that if we were to go into production would have multiple safeguards. For example, we would never let Remote Repositioning happen unless the customer selects it within their shifter, right? So if the customer is just driving their vehicle down the road, that module isn’t even enabled.

Well, but there’s an obvious counter to that, which is that it would be an amazing tool for vehicle recovery, if a vehicle is stolen, right?

[Laughter.] Yeah, there’s one. Yeah, we haven’t even thought about that use case.

And then you have to think about is the privacy and security risk worth the trade-off.

That’s right. And we’ve always erred on the conservative side. So yeah, I think we have got — I think the whole industry, not just the auto industry still has a lot to learn on that. I mean, the amount of data that is being potentially shepherded, it grows so quickly.

And it’s still the Wild West. It still feels like it’s the young days here where networks are just now becoming mature enough to support this stuff.

Yep.

Remote Repositioning
A "driver" uses Ford's Remote Repositioning system to drive a golf cart thousands of miles away.

One thing that I thought was very interesting from the CES announcements is that a lot of this is focused on non-traditional business models for the auto industry in general, meaning, potentially you’re not selling as many cars because you’re working on ride sharing and car sharing — things where people don’t have to own cars anymore. To what extent is that a concern for you, and how are you alleviating those concerns?

Yeah, it’s a really good point. At this function I’m at, I was just speaking to a few people, obviously all New York City folks, I asked them how did they get here today. I didn’t find a single person who drove their own car. So if you use this as a bit of the trend, you know, we have to change. We have to offer multi-modal mobility solutions, right? One person took a subway to a bus. There wasn’t a car in that person’s route. So that’s why we’re doing the experiments, is to really just understand — especially the millennials, how much their attitudes are changing. How smartphone usage is increasing, how the ability for them to find or share their vehicle. Their appetite to share their vehicle is over 50 percent of people we’ve surveyed, where somebody in my generation, I would be [less likely to share my vehicle]. So if we don’t embrace these trends… we’re definitely on the embracing side.

And I’m assuming, maybe this isn’t true, but I would imagine this breakdown is very different between urban, suburban, and rural environments, right?

It is. And if you look at it from the technology solutions, once again, going back to our electrifications, we find our plug-in hybrids are fitting our suburban commuter really well. In fact, we did this really interesting experiment where we offered our employees a really good rate on a plug-in hybrid, it was just over a year ago. We had a lot of takers. And we had data, so we knew how often they were driving in electric versus gas mode. And the bottom line is they were driving three out of every four trips in electric mode. They were driving four trips on average per day. But they were driving that last trip every day on gasoline.

Just because their battery was depleted at that point?

That’s right. We have a 19-mile battery in that product, the C-Max Energi. Then we put workplace charging in, and lo and behold, we find that Monday through Friday is all-electric. So they’ve got that fourth trip now on electric. So I guess what I’m getting at is it’s just interesting to see how in different segments, and where I come from it’s a lot of suburban commuters, they’re getting everything they need from that electric, and they’re getting it from very low-cost, very clean electricity. We just installed a big solar array on the back of our world headquarters that’s powering 28 charge stations. That’s going to be commissioned very soon this summer. So, you know, the whole way we do transportation is not only what we’re driving, but where the energy is coming from; [it's] really evolving.

To what extent is Ford engaged on that end of it, how the energy gets made?

So I guess you would say we’re pretty engaged. From a personal level, so if you had a home and you wanted to put solar on it, we have a partnership with SunPower where you can get a discount if you bought a Ford plug-in. You get a discount on solar, so we call it "EV plus PV" — electric vehicle plus photovoltaic. So that’s sort of a partnership we did.

The other thing we do is, utilities, electricity tends to be cleaner at night, believe it or not. A lot of hydro in the US, it flows at a higher percentage at night. Wind blows stronger at night. So if you look at percent renewables by time of day, generally the nighttime hours are a little bit cleaner. So if you make that assumption, utilities are trying to do time-of-use rates, so you would pay a different rate during the day than you would pay at night, so we created this big database we call Value Charging. And we know that if you put in your zip code and you’re on a time-of-use rate, we know the hours when you get the lower rate, which tends to be cleaner. It’s generally 11PM to 6AM, or midnight to 6AM. So the database knows that, so if you come home from work and plug in, it doesn’t start charging until those lower rates. So we do that type of work, and then we work with utilities quite a bit to understand if they have a feed they can give our customers — if they have a lot of renewable, we can put it into our app and notify our customer. We call it our green app. They can say, I only want to charge when the electricity is the greenest. We give them that option as well.

I’m assuming you have some data on this — I don’t know how much you’re able to share — at what point is the crossover where we’re selling over 50 percent alternative fuel vehicles, hybrids, and electrics? Is that coming soon?

We don’t really talk publicly about it, and I think part of it is there’s a lot of unknowns, meaning fuel prices and all the other things. What I can say is, one, if you look at our portfolio over time — so we’ve got what we call the power choice. We’ve got our EcoBoost, which is our downsized, turbocharged, direct injection. Then we have all of our electrification, so that’s battery electrics, plug-in hybrids, and hybrids, and then we have our natural gas and alternative type fuels. If you look at that portfolio over time, one of the biggest factors that we’re going to have to do is recapture braking energy and shut down engines during congestion, lights, start-stop, that kind of thing. So you start adding up where we have to take the product portfolio in the future, electrification is going to be a big element of it.

"And when we cross 50 percent? I don’t really know."

And when we cross 50 percent? I don’t really know. I can tell you right now we’re only running about 3 or 4 percent electrified products, and that number’s dipped down about a full percentage point since fuel prices have fallen. So we’re still in the early days, but I think we’re going to see an acceleration here in the next couple years. All manufacturers are likely going to embrace it, because it’s in everybody’s toolbox and it’s the right thing to do for fuel economy.

Is that acceleration driven by economies of scale? As you have more of these vehicles, the difference in price between the gasoline model and the hybrid model goes down?

That’s right. There’s a big part of that. I mean, battery prices in general. Power and electronics are the other big piece in terms of the cost. So if we can get scale on the battery side, if we can get the price points down, then you’re going to see it. I don’t know if you had an opportunity to get to the Detroit show this year, but I think you probably saw the trend… plug-in hybrids were everywhere. And I think you’ll continue to see that.

In fact, one of the things I like to tell people is if you look at the history of Ford’s electrification — we’ve done electric vehicles before, but our mainstream products. Our first hybrid was the 2004 Ford Hybrid Escape. And if we look at that hybrid it was a 3-liter engine, it had a very small battery.

And that was co-developed with Toyota, right?

No, that was a Ford-only product. A lot of people think that, but it was a Ford-only product. If you go to our second generation of hybrids, they went down to a 2.5-liter engine — this was the last generation — and then they had a nickel metal hydride battery that was just under a kilowatt-hour. So a little bigger battery, different technology in that it had a smaller engine. And then you come to our current generation of product, we’re at a 2-liter — so it went down another half-liter — and we went to lithium ion. And we went just over one kilowatt-hour. And our plug-in hybrid we went to about an eight kilowatt-hour, and then our battery electric we went to about a 23 kilowatt-hour.

So if you call that a trend, the engine’s getting smaller and smaller, and the electric motor and capability is getting bigger and bigger. So if you were extrapolating that out, if that was a trend, you can start to see that our plug-in hybrids are becoming more electric. And that’s sort of the evolution that I’m predicting is happening, because Americans need their freedom. They really want to be able to go on their weekend trips, they really want to go far distances. But during the week, if they can get everything on electric, that’s a fantastic compromise. So I think we’re going to see an evolution on that side.

And you talked about battery manufacturing scale. Are you actively bumping into those limits? Gigafactory’s gotten a lot of press over the past year, and obviously it’s a huge constraint for an all-electric vehicle, but is that a problem for you, and if so, how are you addressing it?

I can’t really comment directly on Tesla’s strategy, but I would say this: there’s a breakpoint that we all will get if we can collectively get the volumes. So there’s no surprise here that our Focus Electric is using the same cells as the Chevy Volt, we use the same supplier.

A123?

No, it’s called LG Chem. Holland, Michigan is the plant. So, just think about under that scenario, if those volumes grow and that supplier is able to collectively get the volumes, then we all will enjoy the same scale. So what I’m expecting to happen in the industry is, you know, there will be the Tesla strategy — stationary plus vehicle and put it all under one roof and produce a lot of them — and then there’s basically going to be our strategy, which is find the best-priced cell and battery pack that we can and let the supplier get the volume and scale by going across the industry. And I really think that it’s worked for us many times, and that’s how the supply base works, and so I think it’ll be an interesting few years to see how it all pans out, but we’re very confident in our strategy.

So Ford has the Focus Electric, and then you have products like the Prius, where it’s a dedicated hybrid line. So you have two strategies there, one is take an existing vehicle and put in a different drivetrain, versus a line of products. Would Ford ever consider making a dedicated EV or strong hybrid product that sort of showcases the most advanced EV technology available, and just sort of put it out there as flagship EV product?

It’s a good question. Let me back up and explain our current strategy, which, as you stated, we take our global platform and then have different powertrains in it, and that’s worked really well for us. For example, in this climate right now, when we’ve seen deflated fuel prices, we have seen a shift back for some customers buying traditional powertrains. And so that strategy works really well, we can adjust our manufacturing mix based on the customer pull. But to your point and to the future, I can’t really comment specifically, but I do think that we’re going to see more electrified products come to market.

We just saw the Continental concept launch. I was surprised at what a small engine was in a big car, but it was just a gasoline engine, I believe, not a hybrid. Can you scale electrification up through your largest vehicles, both sedans and SUVs, trucks? Could you have a hybrid Explorer or Expedition, or F-150?

Well, I mean, technically, the answer’s yes. The question is whether you can get a viable business case. Can you provide all the customer attributes of towing and everything that you want? So I can’t really talk about our future products, but I can tell you that if you look at lightweighting now, if you look at what else can we do to get to where we need to be for fuel economy and do our part for the planet, electrification is where everything is likely going to have to go. So I think it’s one of our strongest tools in our toolbox, and so… stay tuned.


The best of Verge Video