There is little tolerance in our current economic environment for clean energy technologies that waste consumer money. Consumers might be willing to pay a premium to promote a cleaner environment, but the product had better deliver on their promises and there better not be a bunch of hidden charges coming down the road. In my opinion this is where the problem lies with the Ford 6.4 liter diesel motor. Nobody in the trucking industry was thrilled when the government came out with new regulation for diesel emissions, we were in an environment where money was tight, but if it was going to be good for the planet, well, we’ll bite the bullet and make it work. But unfortunately it appears Ford sold a product that doesn’t work, and now all of the clean technology nay sayers are saying, see, clean technology is a waste of money.
My company uses the Ford F550 as one of its work horses in our fleet, in the past these were pretty bullet proof trucks; durable and tough. But my opinion has clearly changed; the 6.4’s that we put in our fleet have been anything but tough or reliable. We are spending substantial resources to keep these units on the road. They were not only more expensive to purchase because of the EGR cleaners, but once these units get about 50k miles on them they become almost completely unusable, and of course they are out of warranty at this point. Companies who bought these units are being forced to absorb the losses, or pass the costs on to consumers, and I’m not sure how many companies can absorb these kinds of losses.
It’s a shame that Ford has made such a mess out of what was once a quality product. Even worse, somebody has to pay for it, and it doesn’t appear that it will be Ford. But the worst part is that this failure gives the whole clean tech industry a black eye. We all make mistakes, most of us can forgive that, but what we can’t forgive is when organizations refuse to take responsibility for their mistakes. Clean technologies can work; it just takes responsible organizations to implement these technologies.