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

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Zaxxon, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Member

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    The Verge has an interview today with Mike Timskey, Ford's 'Global Director of Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure.' I found it interesting. There's not a whole lot of new information, but it's a good summary of Ford's current views on alternative-power vehicles. A few quotes:

     
  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Well, the good news is that Timskey implicitly acknowledges that the Tesla Supercharger is the leading fast charging system, though it is amusing that he can't use the words "Tesla" and "Supercharger" together.
    He pointedly does not specify the Tesla kW charge rate as being the fastest, he only implies it.
     
  3. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    So, leaving up to chance, then?
     
  4. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    I thought he was a reasonably candid here but I can't help but shake my head when he talks about fast charging. He's still on that 40/50 kW as current state rather than acknowledging the 120 kW capabilities of, well, certain other vehicles. Also, talking about charging in those terms rather than 1.5C or more is a bit disingenuous. Your safe charge rate is based on three things: battery capability to accept a charge with acceptable degradation, the wiring and connections between the power source and the battery, and what demand charges are economically acceptable. If it's primarily limited by the battery then you either need a larger battery or better chemistry.

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    No, leveraging industry economies of scale rather than single company.
     
  5. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Yeah good luck with that. :)

    Also funny how he mentions charging at 150kW as the future and 40-50kW as the present. Just like he doesn't know exactly how powerful a Tesla Supercharger is? Please, it has to be embarrassing for an engineer to acknowledge that you're on the losing team.
     
  6. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof Vendor

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    I met Timskey a few times before and he's a good guy, overall. He does represent Ford, which explains why he delivered this the way he did. Ford and Detroit, in general, for some odd reason is behind the SAE backed CSS charging protocol. He has to walk a tight line when he speaks about it. Once you talk to all these guys off the record, everyone agrees it is a silly war and that everyone should align under one protocol. I only wish upper management would agree to this and make all of our lives easier. This charging protocol war is even sillier than the VHS vs Betamax fiasco. Again, consumers pay for the consequences on strategic deals. In the meantime, Tesla drivers are happier :)
     
  7. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    And that is such a salient point.
    Tinskey doesn't talk about the better driving experience of electric nor what combination of range plus cost plus ubiquitous fast-charging gets Ford to that 50% pt.
    Their strategy is based on some ICE/EV "dial" they turn based on the price of oil.
    Looks to me like more market share for Tesla.
     
  8. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    This has worked for them many times, but never with their core technology: the internal combustion engine. Ford never outsources that, never lets that core technology out of their control. The same is true of most other car makers. They may outsource a lot of stuff, but they keep their own grip on the key component, the engine. The key component of an electric car is the battery. If they think they can simply outsource that from "the supply base", they may find that decision comes back to haunt them somewhere down the road.
     
  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. They will be competing against other car companies for a limited supply of batteries. They will not have control over the cost.

    By building their own vertically integrated battery factory, Tesla will have a great deal of control over their finished battery pack cost and won't have to rely on anyone else to supply them with batteries. Of course they will be competing for raw materials, but so will all the other battery manufacturers.
     
  10. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof Vendor

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    Most of these companies are in a tough spot. Using old marketing school tricks to get our attention, it can only go so far. When the Ford Focus Electric was introduced, it was nice and Ford played the "we understand" hand and we're doing just like Tesla. And then, nothing. Silence. Crickets. And then came a slew of plug-in hybrids and no mentions of the EV anymore. And this is where these companies are, stuck between the desire to move and investors holding them to the totem pole of short term ROI. That's why none of these traditional carmakers can "catch up" toTesla, out of vision, out of nimbleness, out of culture. They simply don't have it. They are tooled to make gasoline engine and rely on maintenance as a cash flow.

    That's why in the meantime we can only be amused when any new electrified car is a Tesla killer. My, what a difference makes a few years, from ignoring, to fighting, to chumming up...
     
  11. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    Ford loves to muddy the waters by talking about its "electrified" products, as if you can put a non plug-in hybrid with a 1 kWh battery in the same class as a Model S.
     

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