Ed Begley Jr. Becomes Ford’s EV Hitman

By · January 10, 2011

The 2011 Detroit Auto Show and 2011 Computer Electronics Show have given Ford the chance to spread a lot of good news about its electric car plans. In the past few days alone, the company has unveiled its all-electric Ford Focus Electric, as well as upcoming hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the new C-Max Energi microvan.

In an apparent good-cop-bad-cop strategy, Ford has assigned the quintessential tree-hugging goody-goody Ed Begley Jr. to deliver bad news to its competitors. In a new Ford-produced video, he provides lots of good information about the company’s electrification strategy, but in two instances, he throws barbs at the two leading EV makers: Nissan and General Motors.

After a self-loathing ding on tree-hugging Birkenstock-wearers in the first few seconds, Ed says that Ford’s home charger, available from Best Buy, is 30 percent cheaper than the other guys. Then he says that the Focus Electric can charge in just over three hours (by virtue of its 6.6 kW charger). At 2:12 into the video, he quips, “I could mention cars that take twice that time, but I’ll LEAF that alone.” (That’s an obvious reference, and a corny pun, aimed at the Nissan LEAF’s 3.3 kW charger, which is twice as slow.)

Thirty seconds later, he characterizes Ford’s approach as a whole solution and complete plan with a full range of gas and electric choices. “Not like some other companies trying to cram all their customers into one type of electric car,” Begley adds.

What does he mean by that? G.M. trying to cram everybody into an extended-range EV? Nissan cramming everybody into pure EV? Toyota cramming everybody into hybrids?

You know the EV space is really heating up when the man most known for tree hugging goodness is called into service to hack away at the competition. Ford has been relatively quiet during the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF days of 2010, but it seems ready to throw down the gloves. And you have to admit that Ford has a great strategy that ranges from high-mpg gas cars and hybrids to plug-in hybrids and electric cars.

Let the carmakers duke it out for EV bragging rights. We consumers can only benefit.


· · 7 years ago

I wondered why Ed Begley had been MIA from the LEAF discussion, Ford took (bought) him out of the game. It's all good, the more EVs the better. Also I would much rather hear Focus EV versus LEAF than Volt versus LEAF.

· Eric (not verified) · 7 years ago

Pity he burned a bit of his endorsement good will on CitizenRE. For me, anyway.

· · 7 years ago

The Leaf is not coming to us...too cold...but we like the battery warmer, the seat warmer, the 6.6 super charging Focus...heck I already have an account with the "Geeks"...however the commercial is very ordinary...Eddie, sell the car man, tell us about the EV...enough with the" Hybreeds" and "High Milers" they will sell themselves!

· evnow (not verified) · 7 years ago

Nothing about the "trunk" space, the extra weight or the bad weight distribution ?

But, I'm excited about c-max energi. If the price is right we will get it to replace our other car. Then we will be set with an EV & a Plugin Hybrid.

· · 7 years ago

Yeah... one word: Trunk.

Is this really how the production version will be? Do it the Mini way and pretend it is good enough? Come on. Real EVs don't sacrifice cabin or cargo space for the battery pack. In fact, this is the main reason I don't own a Honda CNG car - big honkin' tank in the trunk making it all but useless for what I use a car for (hint: not just driving my skinny ass across town).

· evnow (not verified) · 7 years ago

I guess eating up half the trunk space is the problem with any conversion - but the conversion helps get the car out quick. I hope Energi is not similarly compromised.

· Lad (not verified) · 7 years ago

As soon as the Ford starts delivery, comparing the cars is correct to do; however, any PR until then will be pure negative campaigning and negative opinions. Also, the other cars will have about two years of experience and upgrades by the time the Focus is running the roads.

· · 7 years ago

@Lad - right you are! When Ford talks about all their EV options when they have NONE is a bit over the top. They complain that GM and Nissan only have ONE EV option. Gosh... but the thing is, they DO have one option which is 100% more than Ford has on the road.

· Stephen Taylor (not verified) · 7 years ago

Remember for most of us, where we can't even order a Leaf, there still isn't a Leaf option anyways so let's hope Ford and several other makers can do some real catching up this year. It is at least encouraging that they are doing the PR now.

· John Millard (not verified) · 7 years ago

The fact that companies are competing heavily to produce efficient cars gives me hope there might be an affordable EV or hybrid available in my lifetime.

· · 7 years ago

I really like Begley and have always loved his recommendations. This is making it much more difficult for me now. Am I going for the leaf with the 3.3 kw charger and none heated battery back in chilly Chicago or wait for the Ford.

I did reserve a Leaf but I am just afraid that just after I take delivery the 2012 model will come out with heated battery back and 6kw charger making my car unsellable.

Tough choices. Any suggestions?

· Jack (not verified) · 7 years ago

Great stuff. I like what I'm seeing coming from Ford these days, and hopefully their electric line-up will live up to the specs they've given.

· john millard (not verified) · 7 years ago

Ed Begley is an actor. That's how he makes a living. If Nissan had hired him instead would you be calling him a "hit man"?

· · 7 years ago

Let's give Ed a break,
On Sunday, he was on a local news channel 'plugging' EVs and was using his Leaf as his personal testament. He's everywhere and generally pushing for the right things. What he says about Nissan and GM is true. Keeping everyone honest isn't the worst thing.

· · 7 years ago

Question to all Contributors Please. What if one had the ability to continually charge SuperCapacitors in a vehicle as it is driven? What I mean is instead of the brake regeneration; I can provide between 10 to 50 or more continuous amps at all times while the vehicle is driven. Would this help and couldn't one use both less batteries and some SuperCapacitors at the same time? Thanks in advance!

· · 7 years ago

@alexrr60 - well, what does "ability to charge as it is driven" mean? Sure it would be great to have a bunch of free energy. But the big question here is... where are you going to get this energy? Please don't tell me it'll be from some sort of magic generator that's super efficient! There is no free lunch... no matter how bad we want it. The drag of any generator will always be higher than the power generated. I'm ready to hear more, and will do my best to keep an open mind.

· · 7 years ago


I understand your pain. I guess the question is when will you be able to get a Leaf? I thought I had a chance this past December (DC area) but learned I will not be able to till June or July. I plan on opting for the Leaf lease. That way in three years I can look over the EV landscape change and hopefully I will have a much large EV selection.

· · 7 years ago

darelldd - Thank you for your response. Nope, its not a magic generator but one already being used. I wish I can tell you know, but I have had three electrical engineers from the Orlando area view the idea and all agreed that what I have done is not create but substitute that drag. Also, I've done it!, with several different prototypes. Since I don't have the resources at this moment, I hope to convert a small vehicle and conduct some further testing with both Capacitors and Batteries installed. Most expensive prototype is around $500. Smaller versions are less than $250. These of course are retail prices. I am just looking for more advice. The mechanism allows for free flow of existing drag. I am not an engineer and should have studied it vice Business Management. Thanks again for your comments.
dutchinchicago - I hope it will be sooner. I have only a 99 waiting for something right. If Ford is for real, maybe I'll go with that.

· · 7 years ago

@alexrr60: What do you mean by "substitute that drag"? That seems key. If you want to make a car more efficient in terms of overall energy use, you generally should do everything possible to make it more aerodynamic. You should seek to minimize drag, not "use" it. As darelldd noted, there is no free lunch.

· · 7 years ago

abasile - thanks for your comment. Please conduct a very small test; wave your hand in the air; noticed the pressure, thats drag. No one can avoid that in any aspect of physics, What I have done is use the existing drag; not create additional drag. I don't think it is free lunch.

· john millard (not verified) · 7 years ago

Alexrr60 is either running a scam or he is deluded. If the latter is true I apologize for being so frank.

· · 7 years ago

jmillard n a p. Your welcome - Oh by the way, I'm not looking for anybody s money. I think I'll have that shortly - Thank you; and it was not from here.

· · 7 years ago

@alexrr60 - Whomp! Yes, I'm afraid that was the sound of my open mind slamming shut.

You are trying to get energy for nothing. No free lunch! There is no such thing as using drag that already exists. Whatever is creating the drag is using 100% of the drag that exists. You cannot use it twice. If you could use it twice, why not use it three time? Four? 100? We could power the world just by driving around.

You are right that nobody can avoid that aspect of physics. Also note that nobody can use it more than once.

If you're taking orders, I'll have roast turkey on whole wheat. No mayo.

· · 7 years ago

Hey darelldd - you its funny, I never posted anything anywhere prior to today regarding the device because this is exactly what I expected. I honestly thought that with additional research and asking people questions on the battery/capacitor aspect someone with some knowledge, I would probably get answers to those questions. We'll I was right from the git-go; skepticism is the art of the one that has to see to believe. Anyhow, thanks and when you c it live and not memorex, remember this exchange. Thank you! P.S. keep your mind slammed shut, but have your eyes open. Good Luck.

· · 7 years ago

@alexrr60 - roger that! What is it that you came here to ask and research? If you are really asking "do we want more energy that we don't have to pay for" the answer is a resounding YES! Who wouldn't? How could the answer be anything else? Why bother to even ask it? Just bring it on, and prove that you're the first one to create over-unity/perpetual motion (yes, I know... yours is different, and not called that).

You seem like a nice guy. You have to realize how many hundreds (literally) of people have talked to me about a similar device. (My site seems to attract them). Yes, I'm sure yours is different. So were all of the other devices. And every one of the people involved asked me to remember the conversation when the device came to being. So far, all I have is memories of all the conversations. The game-changing devices? Not so much.

If you can answer the question I posed above - with any modicum of physical reality (something more than you can't explain it, or I don't understand it), then I'd love to continue the conversation offline. The question is this: If you can use the drag twice, why not use it thousands of times? You are proposing to take more energy out of a system than is put into it. You can't do this. I can't do this. Nobody can do this or we would have over-unity! You aren't the first person to think that you can accomplish this, but you are the latest in a long line of those who have failed over the centuries. If you still claim that I don't understand, I'll tell you this: It is un-understandable, and your three EE's need to get a refund on their degrees.

Dear dog... why am I doing this? And what does this have to do with poor, misguided Ed?

· · 7 years ago

Thanks again darelldd - Now I could say the conversation is pretty neat. First off I never mentioned perpetual motion - all I said was self-charging. Transforming that energy and quickly storing and using is what I am looking for.
The three EE did not go into that area. Just the initial presentation - the flow of the force and how I have been able to capture and release that force is the innovation of transforming that energy. You see motion, I believe any motion, happens only once in it's exact terms. Am I right? I would not ask for this process to self-occur more than that initial moment. Every object as it is moved has some force to it; this is how the device worked from that natural force. Just FYI, this idea initially happened by accident. I have been working on this for more than two years. The problem is that somehow, I, and no one else erroneously placed some info on it on a page that I had and when I noticed, I immediately applied for a Provisonal Patent for somewhat of protection.
Just as an example, one of the days I was out with one of the EE's the testing of one of the smaller prototypes measured less than I had expected for a particular vehicle; it did not provide the same results as it did in another vehicle. This is why in the first place I would note mention the P word.
Measurement for that day:
18-mph = .34 amps
30-mph = 1.56 amps
55-mph = 3.40 amps
I can go into further details later. This is just 20 minutes of comparable data examples.

Anyhow, I've taken too much of your day and really appreciate your time and consideration. Taking away my idea; if you have a suggestion on my initial question, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and have a great evening. Alex Robles (10-yr disabled U.S. Navy Veteran

· · 7 years ago

@alexrr60, sound to me like you attached a windbelt to a car. http://www.humdingerwind.com/

· · 7 years ago

Did I see a pickup truck in his little paper cutouts?

· Alan (not verified) · 7 years ago


Super capacitors and ultra capacitors are just fancy batteries right ?! - I can't see how a battery or capacitor can be charged on the go by drag or friction without adding to that drag/friction - simple terms, add an old style flashlight generator to a bicycle wheel - you create electricity but you add to the drag. The amount of energy stored by a super capacitor is less than that of a battery, the advantage however being that the capacitor can charge and discharge very quickly. Which is why some cars like the riversimple use super capacitors for acceleration, the capacitors are recharged by regenerative breaking. Like batteries capacitors will need to be recharged after discharging - now if there is a solar panel on the roof of the car that can do this - then you will have a zero emission renewable energy source.

Down the line my bet is that we are going to see a wider use of ultra and super capacitors as the technology gets better/cheaper to compliment batteries - I just don't see how it will work in your application Alex.

Now if we could have those so-called switch hybrids which switch their engine off when stopped having a regenerative supercapacitor for acceleration - and a highly efficient diesel engine - we could have "hybrids" (in this case regular ICE's) getting 60mpg (with no EV) - which is something we (the motor industry) should be doing anyway!


· · 7 years ago

Thank you Alan.

· · 7 years ago

Good luck with your project. I am as doubtful as Darell, but I still wish you well with it. I just hope you're a bit more sophisticated than this guy:

· · 7 years ago

I just had a look at that YouTube video. The amazing thing is, some of the folks commenting on it thought of it as a good idea. Wow.

· · 7 years ago

@Tom -

Hey, if you aren't going to capture that wind, it'll just blow by and be wasted! Most amazing to me is that somebody actually built this. I mean spent time and money... and started with an expensive car.

· · 7 years ago

Abasile & Darrell:
You gotta admit, besides the annoying music you loved it! And... it did make you smile.

At the very least, the money spent on this thing made a lot of people laugh. I was rolling on the floor when I first saw it.

· · 7 years ago

I couldn't believe my eyes. LOL! From the background music and church scene, my hunch is that the builders/promoters of that car buy into some sort of theologically corrupt "health, wealth, and prosperity" gospel in which the idea of getting something for nothing is not foreign. It actually makes me sad to see how easily some are deluded. Whether promoting sensible technology like BEVs or more "sound" theology, this is the challenge we face.

· Alan (not verified) · 7 years ago

You guys are cruel - This is the car Alex bult !!!

Now if you had motion generators on the shocks, under the seats and horizontally and vertically in the trunk absorbing all the up and down and sideways energy - and that going to ultra capacitors ......

· · 7 years ago

You forgot to use the word 'nano'. That would solve everything :-)

· · 7 years ago

Ah yes... I was channeling the shock generator guy as well...

· Ken Fry (not verified) · 7 years ago

Did you catch the belt drive to one of the road wheels?? Might as well take every opportunity to add drag, right? Someone, somewhere is convinced that this thing works.

· · 7 years ago

@ken - I couldn't watch it that closely. I was afraid my head would catch on fire.

· Ken Fry (not verified) · 7 years ago

No problem. Just make sure you are using heavy gauge tin foil in your hat.

I wonder how Alex chose to post in this thread? How does this relate to Ed Begley? Or Ford?

I'd recommend that he post at the engineering forum, CR4, where he can start his own topic, "Using Free Flow of Existing Drag to Charge Car Batteries" or some such. (As you can imagine, this will get some attention.) His provisional patent application will give him the ability to fully disclose the invention while protecting his intellectual capital.

Alex: here's the address: http://cr4.globalspec.com/

· Ken Fry (not verified) · 7 years ago

I am assuming that the comment about the windmill car being yours is a joke. If that is your car, read no further. The windmills and wheel-driven generators seriously erode the efficiency of that car. The car might have been put together as a joke by a physics teacher to amuse his students, but I fear that the perpetrators may actually think that the thing works.

But, if you have a real idea, then you would do well to avoid super-capacitors, because they are a very expensive way to store energy, and add an unnecessary variable to your experiment. The area in which you are working (things that appear to be over-unity generators) is loaded with con artists, so you should be especially careful about doing good tests. In the engineering world, adding unnecessary variables screams “bad test” – people worry that the variables are added deliberately for obfuscation. Just use the existing batteries in the electric car. It is easy to measure energy in and energy out. Your claim is that the increase in energy consumption from your device is more than compensated by its output. That can be easily measured without throwing in super-capacitors.

Avoid posting in threads like this one. This thread is about Ed Begley pimping for Ford. Dramatically off-topic posts come across as spam, and do not help your cause.

Your description might make sense to you, but makes no sense from a science and engineering perspective. When you write “You see motion, I believe any motion, happens only once in it's exact terms. Am I right? I would not ask for this process to self-occur more than that initial moment,” you have communicated nothing that an engineer can understand. The folks at CR4 could help you describe your invention in terms that are understandable to engineers and scientists, and could help you design a valid experiment.

Posting a thread under “general discussion” would probably get you the most viewers. A title like “Using Drag to Charge Car Batteries” will certainly attract attention. Some will appear skeptical at first, but once you have clearly explained your idea, they can help you refine it and its communication, provided it has some merit. If you come to believe that your idea has no merit, that's OK too – the discussion will have helped you avoid investor fraud prosecution, or alienating friends, etc.


· · 7 years ago

@Ken - You can't possibly be an engineer! You write way too cohesively. ;) Super response!

· Ken Fry (not verified) · 7 years ago

Thanks! My parents were both writers, and beeted it into me real good that I had oughta should right good on accounta so's what people are understand it.
Cheers, Ken

· spencer (not verified) · 6 years ago

In the video he says that he'll reveal the various ev models, but never does. What gives?

It also seems a little odd that he would choose to endorse a company that doesn't have a car on the market yet.

I really like Ed Begley Jr., but I think he's kind of an idiot. I know he has good intentions, but I'd rather have another spokesperson for environmentally friendly living. I've read his book and seen his program, and the one constant is that he leaves important things out and often presents ideas or results without pertinent information.

Still, I'm appreciative for what he does. I am very happy that he's taken the initiatives that he has. I'd take him in place of no one any day of the week.

· · 6 years ago

"I think he's kind of an idiot."

I don't think that's fair.

First, I hear people on here complain that EVs didn't sell a decade ago, because the automakers did not market them.

Now the automakers are marketing EVs, and even hire a spokesperson. I would have thought people here would be happy. Noooo. Now we have complaints that it's the wrong spokesperson. Ford didn't hire Ed Badley to market to "you". They hired him to connect with the average buyer.

I'll be the lone wolf. I'm glad to see Ed pushing Focus EVs, and that Ford is serious enough about marketing the car to pay the bucks to hire Ed. I look forward to entertaining marketing campaigns by Ford, and others over the next few years as competition heats up.

· Bill Howland (not verified) · 5 years ago


My only question is by what mechanism do you convert the 'drag' of the car at 55mph to 1000 watts of useable juice? And sensitive testing would reveal I assume that an additional 1 1/2 hp is not required to push the car? Please don't be like our friend GORR here and refuse to answer practical questions..

Re: Ed Begley Jr.

Well, he does have that pricey solar panel on his house he's probably still paying for and so he's to be forgiven if he can't forever remain perfectly pure. He's done enough pure promotion of EV's to be forgiven, even if it did help his career. I've never met Millally, but

The Fed Reserve actually quietly bailed out Ford, the same way as McDonald's, Harley Davidson, and many others I can't remember at the moment. So Ford isn't pure on that respect. Millally gets paid way too much, and in general I don't trust anyone who smiles all the time. And the MicroSoft My ford touch has gotten a "it sucks' review from Consumer Reports. (I wouldn't have written that if I didnt hate microsoft anyway).

· Adolfo Himelstein (not verified) · 5 years ago

Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on this blog loading? I'm trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated. Adolfo Himelstein

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