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Now, You Can Like Ford’s Electric Vehicles On Facebook (But Will You Like Them In Real Life?)

Ford has been burning the midnight oil for several years now, and its hard work is paying off. The automaker’s One Ford philosophy has resulted in a slimmer product lineup, two fewer brands, and a healthy bottom line. Ford also boasts a much spiffier brand image among shoppers these days, thanks in part to the fact that the company avoided taking bailout money from the U.S. government during the recent recession.

But amid all that good work, and amid all the hype surrounding the company’s Fiesta and Focus models, Ford’s efforts on the electric front seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle. Luckily for hybrid and EV fans, it looks like that’s about to change: Ford has now launched a Facebook page dedicated to its electric lineup.

At the moment, there’s not a great deal of content on the page — some discussions, two videos of the 2012 Focus Electric, a few dozen photos, and a poll. But since Ford is promising to launch “five new electrified vehicles” by 2012, more content is surely coming. Specifically, the page mentions the 2012 Focus Electric, 2011 Fusion Hybrid, 2011 Escape Hybrid, 2011 Transit Connect EV, 2013 C-MAX Hybrid, and 2013 C-MAX Energi.

The timing of this Facebook page launch is interesting, coming as it does (a) in the heat of the 2011 Geneva Motor Show press surge, (b) while the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and 2011 Nissan Leaf are still capturing headlines, and (c) before any of Ford’s electric models are ready for showrooms. It seems like a quiet roll-out, one intended to pay off well down the line.

The launch also comes on the heels of a statement from Ford’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Lewis Booth, who expressed concern about the viability of electric vehicles, given the current economy. He doubts that governments will be able to offer ample subsidies on EVs to make them attractive to shoppers:

“Electric vehicles at the moment are still very expensive and have limitations. There is a question mark about how long governments can subsidise vehicles when they are under so much pressure from other funding issues…. Some of the sales projections… for electric vehicles are very ambitious because I am not sure how customers are going to be able to afford to pay.”

We’ll have more about that statement — and some rebuttal — later today. Stay tuned.
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