Ford Agrees to Sell Two Electric Trucks to Lease Holders

January 25, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI) announced that it will sell two Ford Ranger electric pickup trucks to a pair of lease holders who staged sit-ins at a Sacramento Ford dealer rather than surrender the vehicles as requested by the automaker. Ford called its change of heart a limited "customer satisfaction issue." However, electric vehicle activists characterized it as a symbolic victory for non-polluting cars and trucks in California, and urged Ford to resume its discontinued electric vehicle program.

The two disputed electric pickup trucks are among 1,500 manufactured by Ford between 1998 and 2001. Similar trucks have since been called in by Ford and scrapped as the company turned to different technologies, and an industry lawsuit blocked California's requirement that 5% of vehicles sold there by 2001 produce zero emissions. Ford is focused on hybrid technology with a long-range eye on hydrogen-powered cars. Only 88 of Ford's electric pickups remain and most are in municipal fleets with leases that expire late next year.