SAN FRANCISCO -- January 21 -- As a Sacramento car-sit enters day seven, Ford Motor Company has committed to reverse its unpopular decision to repossess and destroy its last zero emission Ranger EVs. Fords abrupt u-turn follows a statewide public outcry that forced it to recant misleading misstatements about the legality, popularity and viability of EV technology.
In a conversation late this afternoon with Jumpstart Ford coalition partners Global Exchange and Rainforest Action Network, Niel Golightly, Fords director of sustainable business strategies, agreed that the auto giant would keep its original promise to sell the pollution-free pickup trucks to loyal lessees. Ranger EV drivers Dave and Heather Bernikoff-Raboy, Bill Korthof and their supporters intend to remain in vigil at the downtown Sacramento dealer until Ford formally follows through.
The EV community and Jumpstart Ford coalition will hold an EV parade this Saturday in Sacramento to call on Ford to revive its entire EV program and immediately implement existing technology to improve its longstanding last place EPA ranking and end its addiction to oil.
Ford fights progress
The Ranger EV controversy is the latest in Fords ongoing assault on federal and state efforts to improve emissions standards and implement fuel efficiency market incentives like Californias progressive new law allowing carpool lane access to hybrids that achieve at least 45 miles per gallon, a standard that not one Ford model meets. In late 2004, Ford supported the filing of a federal lawsuit to overturn Californias popular new vehicle emissions standards, the nations first-ever rules to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions linked to global warming and the most advanced automotive GHG reduction targets in the world.
Americas most oil addicted automaker
Automaker Rankings 2004, a recent report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, ranks Ford as having the absolute worst heat-trapping gas emissions performance of all the Big Six automakers. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the overall average fuel efficiency of Ford's fleet today is 18.8 mpg, dead last among the major automakers for the fifth consecutive year. Since the oil crisis of the 1970s, Ford has ranked worst in overall fuel efficiency of all major automakers for 20 out of the last 30 years. From subcompacts to SUVs, Ford's current car and truck fleet gets fewer miles per gallon on average today than its Model-T did 80 years ago. Ford's widely touted 'eco-friendly' Rouge River plant features a water-preserving green roof, yet manufactures 280,000 gas-guzzling F-150s a year, each truck generating up to 100 tons of atmospheric carbon over its lifetime. Marketed as the first American hybrid, Ford's so-called 'no compromise' Escape represents less than one half of one percent of its fleet and will have virtually no impact on its last place fuel efficiency ranking. On September 2, 2004, Niel Golightly, director of environmental strategies for Ford Motor Company, told USA Today, Clearly, the entire industry could build nothing but zero emissions cars today if it wanted to.