After decades of discussion, debates and live auto news coverage regarding the energy crisis, the majority of automakers seem to be neck-in-neck with one another as they wrap up the first leg of what seems to be a sustainability relay of sorts. The race, in which they’ve spent the last ten years catching their stride, has placed them on equal footing despite the early lead enjoyed by the likes of Toyota. And while upstarts like Tesla seem to have come out of nowhere, mainstays like Ford seem to be changing up their gait in the hopes of gaining ground.
And setting aside the runners’ metaphors (after all, the only thing I run for is the dinner bell) it would appear that Ford’s efforts are garnering some mixed reactions from its ever-loyal customer base. Because, while most people are indifferent about the likes of the hybrid and EV variants of the Fusion or Focus, they draw the line at Ford’s iconic mainstays. And what could be more iconic, than the industry-leading F-Series line of trucks?
But some of the greatest criticism comes from Dan Turgeson, member of IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 58 union. Turgeson, a former Ford employee turned licensed electrician for the last twenty-two years has been overwhelmingly vocal about the risks posed by electric-powered vehicles.
“First of all,” he claims. “Fords are a piece of shit. I wouldn’t drive one if you paid me. I used to work for guy named Jeff Mackalaney over at the assembly plant, and that f*cking guy? He’d sign anything off, so I wouldn’t ever trust a truck with Ford badging. One day Mackalaney decided he was going to fire me. I threatened to kick his ass right there on the floor, so he took me out with a taser. Now, this was over twenty years ago, back when tasers used to be pretty medieval. Made me shit my pants. Flash forward twenty-some-odd years and I hear Mackalaney’s still there. And now they want to make Ford trucks electric? As a skilled electrician, the last guy I want to trust with electricity is ‘Taser-face’ Mackalaney!”
Of course, Dan Turgeson is speaking of Ford’s plans to offer an electrified version of the F-150, as part of their sustainability initiatives. But from his perspective, Ford (and Jeff Mackalaney, in particular) aren’t ready to harness the raw power of electricity (which Turgeson calls, “a right, ruthless bitch”).
“There are rules about his kind of thing. Next thing you know the shifter display is going to show Neutral in white, and Drive in Black,” Turgeson said, in a concerned tone. “Listen, if there’s anything an electrician worth their salt knows is that White isn’t always neutral and Black isn’t always drive…I mean…it isn’t always ‘live’. You gotta check your voltage, first…cuz you just don’t know.”
But Dan Turgeson isn’t so confident. “Listen. Just because it’s low voltage doesn’t mean it ain’t dangerous. Am I right? You gotta check that voltage..and you gotta make sure your connections are secure…cuz you just don’t know.”
While Ford seems unwilling to address any concerns voiced by Turgeson and his ilk, they have gone out of their way to remind everyone that their research and development teams are comprised of skilled engineers, some of which have an extensive background in electrical work. They have also been adamant that there are significant differences between the electrical systems of automobiles, and those of residential and/or commercial properties.
“They just don’t know,” says Dan Turgeson, who smells faintly of crystal meth and sugary urine. “They just don’t know.”