Ford Motor Company’s Blueprint for Sustainability includes the introduction of a range of global environmental technologies to provide more fuel-efficient vehicles that emit fewer greenhouse gases without compromising customer expectations for safety, interior room or performance. Since its original introduction in 2007, Ford accelerated key aspects of its sustainability strategy including a more detailed plan for vehicle electrification and other advances.
“Ford is committed to offering customers affordable, environmentally friendly technologies in vehicles they really want,” said Alan Mulally, Ford’s president and chief executive officer. “We are focusing on sustainable technology solutions that can be used not for hundreds or thousands of cars – but for millions of cars, because that is how Ford can truly make a difference.”
Ford recognizes climate change is a significant global challenge that must be addressed by a range of stakeholders. For the automotive industry, this includes the vehicle manufacturers, the fuel industry, governments and consumers.
To do its part, Ford is pursuing multiple technological paths and collaborating with others to find new, meaningful fuel economy and emissions solutions that will be affordable for customers.
Ford uses sophisticated modeling tools to map its future sustainability goals for CO2 reduction. They are helping the company to determine which technology solutions are viable over time by balancing customer wants, costs and environmental needs. The analysis will guide Ford’s fuel economy plan through 2020.
Some of the improvements to boost fuel economy outlined in the sustainability strategy are already on the road, while Ford continues to innovate for the future. For example: Ford is eliminating energy waste in its vehicle systems, such as power steering, cooling and electrical systems, as well as minimizing wind drag through design and optimizing its new six-speed transmissions. All of these innovations are benefiting customers today, particularly in fuel economy. Among the advances made since 2007 are:
- Doubled hybrid offerings and production with the introduction of the all-new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid, which deliver 41 mpg in city driving.
- Equipped with a new 2.5-liter I-4 engine, the 2010 Ford Fusion S delivers fuel economy up to 3 mpg better than the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.
Ford Escape delivers unsurpassed 28 mpg on the highway – ahead of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. And the hybrid version – the Ford Escape Hybrid – is the most fuel-efficient SUV on the planet, delivering 34 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.
- Ford F-150’s fuel economy has improved an average of 8 percent across the fleet and delivers an unsurpassed 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.
- The new Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Ford Taurus SHO and Lincoln MKT include electronic power-assist steering (EPAS), which can improve fuel economy up to 5 percent, while reducing CO2 emissions and enhancing steering performance. By 2012, Ford plans to fit nearly 90 percent of the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup with EPAS.
Ford says the push will continue. The company quickly will introduce technologies to further eliminate energy waste in vehicle systems by improving powertrain warm-up time, using vehicle control technologies like aggressive fuel shutoff during vehicle deceleration, and reducing engine workload through better battery recharging systems.
“While we implement our near-, mid- and long-term plans, we are continuing to achieve efficiencies throughout the vehicle in areas that can quickly lead to fuel economy improvements today,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of Global Product Development. “We continue to make improvements in what we call the ‘1 percent’ areas – items such as reducing wind drag, eliminating engine-driven power steering pumps and switching to low-friction engine oil. Collectively, these small improvements deliver significant fuel economy gains for our customers.”
Delivering the numbers
The cornerstone of Ford’s near-term plan is a new generation of smaller-displacement turbo-charged gasoline engines with advanced fuel-saving direct injection technologies. The new family of EcoBoost engines potentially provides customers with a fuel savings of between 10 to 20 percent versus a larger displacement engine, without compromising performance.
With direct injection, fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber in small, precise amounts. When this is combined with turbo charging, customers may enjoy better performance and fewer trips to the gas pump. EcoBoost is designed to deliver the power and torque of a V-8 engine with the fuel efficiency of a V-6.
Ford plans to deliver EcoBoost across the full range of its product portfolio, from small cars to large trucks and by 2013, will offer EcoBoost engines, V-6s and I-4s, on 90 percent of its North American nameplates. Ford’s first application will be in the new Lincoln MKS, followed by the Lincoln MKT, Ford Taurus SHO and Flex less than a year after launch. Within three years, Ford expects to deliver 750,000 EcoBoost-equipped vehicles per year in North America and 1.3 million vehicles globally.
Technology Enablers: In addition to EcoBoost engines – and as part of the company’s near- and mid-term plans – Ford will apply a portfolio of technologies to achieve additional fuel savings and emissions reductions. They include:
- Dual-clutch transmissions, which deliver the fuel economy of a manual with the convenience of an automatic. These new transmissions include greater use of six-speeds to replace less-efficient four- and five-speed gearboxes.
- Advanced electric power assist steering (EPAS) systems in between 80 to 90 percent of Ford vehicles.
- Aerodynamic improvements through better design and wind tunnel optimization.
- Weight reductions through platform efficiencies and greater use of aluminum, magnesium and high-strength steel.
- The fuel savings will grow during the mid-term – between 2012 and 2020 – as weight reductions become a critical focus of Ford’s plan. Targeted vehicle weight reductions will range from 250 to 750 pounds, depending on the segment – without compromising safety.
Ford’s Electrification Strategy: Ford accelerated its aggressive strategy for delivering a suite of electric vehicles to market, including a pure battery electric (BEV) Transit Connect commercial van in 2010 and a BEV Focus in 2011, as well as a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) and next-generation hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) by 2012.
Ford already is working with battery suppliers, utility companies and the government to develop, test and validate electric vehicle transportation in order to speed commercialization of the technology.
Hybrid Electric Systems: Ford is in its fifth year producing the world’s most fuel-efficient SUV – the Escape Hybrid, and now has added the most fuel-efficient midsize sedan in the market, the Fusion Hybrid. In addition, Ford makes hybrid versions of Mercury Mariner SUV and Mercury Milan midsize sedan.
Moving forward, Ford plans to deploy different levels of hybridization. In Europe, for example, Ford established in 2006 the European Hybrid Technologies Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden, which will have overall responsibility for the application of hybrid systems into Volvo cars globally and ensure that Ford of Europe is able to apply core hybrid systems into its products.
- Plug-in Hybrids: Ford, in collaboration with 10 utilities and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), is in the midst of a three-year test program on the Ford Escape PHEV, designed to develop and evaluate technical approaches for integrating PHEVs into the electric grid. The utilities are collecting data on battery technology, vehicle systems, customer use and grid infrastructure. In total, Ford will provide 21 vehicles for the real-world trials to explore the commercialization of plug-in hybrids and the business models that might make them viable. Ford has announced plans to introduce a PHEV to market in 2012.
- Battery Electric Vehicles: Ford will launch two pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) over the next two years, including BEV Transit Connect in 2010 and BEV Focus in 2011. BEV Transit Connect, which Ford is developing with Smith Electric U.S., is expected to have a range of up to 100 miles with reduced operation and maintenance costs, making it a useful hauler for commercial and government fleet customers. The BEV Focus, which Ford will produce in collaboration with strategic supplier Magna at the Michigan Assembly Plant, will use a common household current to provide a full charge within eight hours for a targeted range of 100 miles.
- Bio-Fuels: Ford will continue to deliver products capable of running on renewable fuels such as bio-diesel and E-85 ethanol. Ford has more than five million flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) on the roads today globally. In the U.S., Ford has pledged to make half of its production capable of running on alternative fuels by 2012, provided the necessary fuel and infrastructure are in place.
Ford currently offers a total of 14 flexible fuel vehicle models in various markets globally. Ford also continues to support the development of cellulosic biofuels, which in the long term promise up to 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
In Europe, Ford is a FFV market leader and FFV market pioneer. With its current Flexifuel models – the Ford Focus, C-MAX, Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy – Ford is offering one of the broadest FFV portfolios in Europe. The vehicles run on E85 (85 percent bio-ethanol; 15 percent petrol), petrol only, or any mix of both in one fuel tank (making them flexible in terms of choice of fuel and operation). Ford Flexifuel models are now available in 17 European markets with Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and France being the markets with strongest demand. FFVs are part of Ford's portfolio of environmentally advanced, low-CO2 vehicle technologies which Ford is committed to offer at affordable prices to its customers.
In Brazil, FFVs account for 72 percent of Ford’s volume. The success with FFVs was achieved through a central energy policy and collaboration among agriculture, fuel providers, automakers and the government.
In Asia Pacific, Ford is leading in the introduction of flexible fuel vehicles, particularly in early-adopting markets, such as Thailand and the Philippines.
Clean Diesels: Ford’s sustainability plan calls for adding more diesel engines to more products in more markets. In Europe, the Ford ECOnetic range of ultra-low CO2 vehicles offers an attractive and affordable alternative to customers who prioritize low emissions performance from their cars.
The latest introduction to the ECOnetic range is the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic. Powered by a specially-calibrated version of the 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi engine, combined with coated Diesel Particulate Filter (cDPF), the Fiesta ECOnetic is the vehicle with lowest CO2 emission in both its segment and Ford’s European range.
The Fiesta ECOnetic completes a trilogy of production models in the company’s European vehicle range that also includes a Focus ECOnetic returning and a Mondeo ECOnetic. In addition to the successful passenger car ECOnetic variants of Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo, Ford recently presented the Ford Transit ECOnetic as the first commercial vehicle of its ECOnetic range, which will be available later in 2009 across Europe. The ECOnetic line is an important part of the Ford of Europe’s product portfolio with further variants and improvements to come.
These vehicles will sit alongside Ford’s standard range of clean diesel engines in Europe that use advanced technology to deliver extremely competitive CO2 levels.
In 2007, Ford also began launching the Focus TDCi diesel in Asian markets.
Hydrogen Power: Ford remains committed to its core research on hydrogen fuel cell technology, which holds promise as a longer term solution. Ford’s global fleet of 30 hydrogen-powered Focus fuel cell vehicles has accumulated more than 1 million miles in real world testing. While hydrogen holds promise, challenges related to the technology’s high cost and the lack of fueling station infrastructure remain.