Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Even Bastards Can Be Right Some of the Time

______ Wow! A chance to make up a new word! I googled Ford Super Chief 250 and it turns out to have a triflex engine. With the usual corporate animosity to the English language and clear speech and meanings, that means a tri-fuel engine. It can run on gasoline, E-85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline), and hydrogen. It uses a supercharger to run on hydrogen.

Of course there is no hydrogen in service stations yet and precious little E-85. But that isn't Ford's fault. On the other hand, when there starts to be hydrogen available, it will be in short supply. So the Ford SuperChief will transition seamlessly from being a gas-guzzler to being a hydrogen-guzzler.

But for marketing purposes, Ford is right in thinking that American pickup buyers will never buy hydrogen powered trucks if they see them as wimpy substitutes. A huge luxurious truck with a massive V10 is the right thing to do to get these things out the door and onto the road. For the transition to hydrogen-powered vehicles to work, people have to want them.

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