Allan D. Murray
Technical Planning Manager
New Generation of Vehicles Program Office
Ford Motor Company
The American Rd, Rm. 354
P.O. Box 1898
Dearborn, Michigan 48121-1899
December 6, 1995
Mr. Trevor O. Jones
National Research Council
2101 Constitution Avenue Washington, DC 20418
Subject: Electric Vehicle Position
Reference: Your November 21, 1995, Memo (Attached)
You requested PNGV to provide a position on straight electric vehicles (vs hybrid electrics). As you know, USCAR sponsors active development of electric vehicle energy storage devices, and each OEM has aggressive electric vehicle development programs. There are many common needs between straight electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. Both require maximum weight reduction, high efficiency electric motors, inverters, low energy accessories, low rolling resistance tires, etc.
Primarily as a result of limitations in existing and projected energy storage devices, straight electrics in the PNGV timeframe are unlikely to meet PNGV's objectives of affordability and functional equivalence. Functional limitations include range, speed of “re-fueling”, and package space and there are infrastructure concerns. Affordability issues include the initial cost and replacement cost of high-energy storage devices.. The cost of electric drivetrains and associated power electronics must also come down, as they must for hybrid electrics.
Electric vehicles have a relatively low probability of meeting the PNGV “Goal 3” requirements within the next decade. In the long-term we anticipate that possible significant improvements in the cost and efficiency of storage devices, electric drives and high power electronics could be achieved. Thus, the possibility of significant “breakthrough” improvements which would make straight electric vehicles viable, cannot be totally ruled out.