Why did Ford CEO Mulally lie about hydrogen test vehicle?
For those unfamiliar with the original story: Over the weekend, every blog and news outlet started reporting that Ford CEO Alan Mulally told Detroit News (while at the NY Auto Show):
...he intervened to prevent President Bush from plugging an electrical cord into the hydrogen tank of Ford's hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid at the White House last week.
However, as Mulally followed Bush out to the car, he noticed someone had left the cord lying at the rear of the vehicle, near the fuel tank.
"I just thought, 'Oh my goodness!' So, I started walking faster, and the President walked faster and he got to the cord before I did. I violated all the protocols. I touched the President. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front," Mulally said. "I wanted the president to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen. This is all off the record, right?"
This never passed the smell test for me. For this to be an actual danger to the President (and VP Cheney who was close behind Mulally) the tank would have to be actively leaking hydrogen. Furthermore, Bush would have to choose not to read the large "HYDROGEN" label next to the tank cap. I decided a post theorizing whether Ford's hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid was fatally flawed or if Mulally thinks Bush doesn't read (or both) wasn't worth the time.
Thank god for Keith Olbermann who actually pulled the video of the event. Turns out, none of what Mulally told Detroit News was true. The extension cord was near the correct end of the vehicle and he didn't touch the President.
Why would the CEO of Ford suggest that the President almost blew himself up using a Ford hydrogen test vehicle? Energy blogger amazngdrx has a theory - Mulally was sloppily trying to discredit alternative fuel vehicles.
Outrageous exaggeration or shadowy conspiracy? You decide.
(Photo of Bush/Mulally/Cheney by Mark Wilson - Getty Images).