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The Electric Car and Job Creation

April 03, 1993

In his March 25 Column Left ("Here's a Way to Get Jobs and Clean Air"), state Sen. Tom Hayden wrote that "not a single American auto maker is committed to producing an electric vehicle." The fact is that Ford Motor Co. is only months away from making its first deliveries.

Ford has maintained a development program for electric vehicles for more than 20 years. Ford has committed more than $100 million and hundreds of people to the development of a customer-acceptable electric vehicle. Although the technical and engineering challenges remain formidable, we have made substantial progress.

Later this year Ford Motor Co. will deliver 80 Ford Ecostar electric vehicles to fleet customers for "real world" testing in the U.S. (including California), Mexico and Europe.

Hayden also asserted that through its lack of commitment to electric vehicles the American auto industry was preventing the creation of thousands of jobs in California. Because of the limited market for electric vehicles the total sales volume in California by the year 2000 is projected to be only about 10% of the capacity of an efficient assembly plant. Therefore, it is unrealistic to talk about the potential for thousands of jobs in California.

However, we are attempting to develop a supplier base in California to support our electric vehicle effort. In 1992, Ford purchased $200 million worth of components from 30 California-based suppliers.

DENNIS F. WILKE

Director, Electric Vehicle Programs

Ford Motor Co.

Detroit

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