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.

New to EVs? Start here

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