Can't Afford a Tesla? Ford Has an Alternative

Ford’s Energi vs. Tesla: What’s the difference?

Jan 18, 2014 at 2:00PM

Get a glimpse of what's on the tech horizon with Foolish reports from the field at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. Companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 firms launch and showcase thousands of products at the event, which attracts visitors from around the world.

The Ford (NYSE:F) C-MAX Energi is a gas/electric hybrid that, according to customer feedback, many people use primarily as an electric car. With about 20 miles to the charge, consumers can do their weekday driving on battery power, saving the gas option for longer trips.

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A full transcript follows the video.

Austin Smith: Of course, when we talk about electric vehicles, I would be remiss if I didn't discuss Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) in this equation here, a company that seems to have really brought this category into consumers' legitimacy a bit more.

How does this product differ from what we've seen out of Tesla, maybe in terms of the market, or the actual performance of the electrical drive train, and solar panels on the vehicle?

Ford Representative: This car, besides the solar panels on the roof, is a production C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. You referred to Tesla, which are pure electric vehicles. This is a gas/electric hybrid. It gets 20-21 miles on a full battery charge, of pure electric driving.

This is one aspect of Ford's Power of Choice strategy, where we're trying to give our customers a breadth of choices, especially those that care about fuel economy and the environment, and things like that.

The plug-in hybrid is really unique, in that it accommodates people who do a lot of around-town -- say weekly driving -- within the battery's range, so you would be able to essentially drive the car like it's a full electric car. Then let's say on the weekend you want to take a road trip that's 500 miles; this car is not going to limit you at all, because you can have full capability to do that as well.

The sales and the customer feedback that we've gotten from the car so far have been fantastic, because people are truly using it with that flexibility, to do the majority of their trips. A lot of our data is suggesting that customers are driving almost 75% of their trips in full electric mode, like they're just driving a pure electric car. Then beyond that, it gives them the flexibility to take the car on longer trips as they need.

Smith: Wow, definitely pretty impressive numbers there; 75% -- that is a lot of driving.

Ford Representative: That's right.

Austin Smith owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Ford and Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

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Everything else is details. 

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