Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

To Ford, Philly is out of Focus

Ford's electric division just gave Philly a big flat tire by excluding us from the list of 19 major cities where the company will be unveililng the new Focus Electric in 2011.

To Ford, Philly is out of Focus

Now THAT´s a nice sustainable vehicle. The 2011 Chevy Volt.
Now THAT's a nice sustainable vehicle. The 2011 Chevy Volt.

Have you driven a Ford lately? Me neither. Nor will I be doing so any time soon, apparently, since Ford's electric division just gave Philly a big flat tire by excluding us from the list of 19 major cities where the company will be unveililng the new Focus Electric in 2011.

I mean, come on. Take a look at this list and try to make sense of why Philadelphia is not included. Maybe the original list had 20 spots and we were at #20 - right after Atlanta, Austin and Houston, Texas; Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Orlando, Fla., Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va., Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

Seriously, what exactly was the criterion here? Certainly not size and/or national/historical prominence. I realize this isn't California or anything, but we do have a 'green' car culture here too - heck, we even have an electric car-charging station already. What gives, Ford? I went through a phone labyrinth in an attempt to find an answer but none was forthcoming by my deadline. (I will update with whatever answer is forthcoming.)

Meanwhile, Chevy's Volt hybrid has been forthcoming with news, books, personalized alerts and distribution points all over our region. Not 100% electric, but why wait till 2012-14 or whenever Ford decides to show up?

I never cared a bit for that Chevy-Ford rivalry that always seemed to be so important to owners of pickup trucks... but I'm on my way out now to pick up one of those Calvin stickers. You know which one.

UPDATE 11/16: Gov. Rendell just announced Philly's Mayor’s Office of Sustainability will receive a $140,000 Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) to purchase and install chargers for 20 electric vehicles (EV) in Philadelphia. Still, I know, we're no Richmond, Va. Press Release Here.

About this blog
Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

The experts at Philadelphia's Energy Coordinating Agency answer your energy questions in our regular feature Stay Warm, Stay Green. Send in your question or questions to

Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.

Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.

Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.

Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.

Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...

Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.

Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.

Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.

In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man

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