Ford Announces End to Its US Electric Car Sales

September 02, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI) announced that it will stop selling its Th!nk electric vehicles (EVs) in the US at the end of the year because of lack of customer demand and government support. Ford plans to focus on other technologies for cleaner-running cars and trucks, including hydrogen fuel cells and the gas-electric hybrid SUV Escape, due to debut in late 2003.

"We're very disappointed about it, but the market for the battery-operated vehicles has turned out to be a business that we really can't sustain," stated Ford spokeswoman Sara Tatchio.

Spectra LLC, which builds the Neighbor EV for Ford in Detroit, will end production by the end of the year. The company has sold 1,600 Neighbor EVs and donated 500 to national parks in the US since its debut. Ford will assess in the next three months whether to stop production at the Th!nk Nordic plant near Oslo, Norway, which makes the City EV. The City has sold 1,000 units. Ford paid $23.0 million in 1999 for Pivco Industries, renaming it TH!NK, and has since invested $100.0 million in the technology.