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Published on May 12th, 2009 | by Christopher DeMorro

16

Ford Wins Green Choice Award

The domestic auto industry may be in turmoil, but for at least one of the Big Three things are starting to look up. Ford Motor Company, the only American auto company not to take government aid, has been moving forward full speed with their green car initiatives, and as such has been awarded the Green Choice Award by Natural Health magazine. Ford has expanded in every direction by trying to become a more green car company, building on the success of its Ford Escape Hybrid SUV by introducing the Ford Fusion Hybrid, which gets 41mpg in the city and 36 on the highway, besting Toyota’s Camry and equaling its initial quality, according to recent surveys.

But Ford hasn’t just taken the more fuel efficient route. Another major change they have affected has been to cut its global energy use by nearly a third by booth upgrading equipment and utilizing simple solutions like energy efficient light bulbs. Both the Escape and Fusion hybrids are equipped with 100 percent recylcled post-industrial fabric seats, which saves an estimated 900 tons of carbon emissions and 600,000 gallons of water.

What’s more, Ford employees logged over 124,000 of volunteer hours in 2008, and following Subaru’s steps they have made vacant lots around 17 of their factories into reclaimed wilderness and hiking trails. But my personal favorite has to be the EcoBoost engine, a 365-horsepower fuel efficient twin-turbo motor that will soon be showing up in the Lincoln MKZ, Ford Flex, and the new Taurus SHO among others, proving you can have big power and fuel efficiency all in one package. Rather than pursuing ambitious, far-off projects like Chevy’s Volt or potential vaporware like the Dodge Circuit, Ford has set its sights on improving the technology already available while keeping it affordable. Big things to come from Ford, for sure.

Read more about Ford’s plans for electric vehicles on the NYTimes Green Inc. blog: Ford Truck Plant to Build Electric Cars

Source: Ford



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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • Mkkby

    That SUV looks really green. Almost like it’s part of the landscape. (sarcasm off).

    … which only goes to prove Ford’s green “strategy” is just PR. They talk high mileage, but really want to sell the high-markup trucks. That’s why they’ll be out of business and the Japanese and Chinese will take more and more market share.

  • Mkkby

    That SUV looks really green. Almost like it’s part of the landscape. (sarcasm off).

    … which only goes to prove Ford’s green “strategy” is just PR. They talk high mileage, but really want to sell the high-markup trucks. That’s why they’ll be out of business and the Japanese and Chinese will take more and more market share.

  • Christopher DeMorro

    Ford isn’t going anywhere. They are one of the few companies taking a multi-pronged approach to increasing fuel efficiency without promising consumers vaporware that may never make it to market.

    Besides, some people want SUVs, and Ford is after all a business, i.e. they are trying to make money. Oh noez, capitalism!

  • John Lumea

    Nice to see that Ford is taking some small steps in the right direction.

    But does anyone see the irony in illustrating an item about what a “green choice” Ford is with a beefy SUV set against a pristine landscape — precisely the kind of image American automakers have been using for decades, in both print and television advertising, to (1) seduce consumers into the self-indulgent habit of buying these machines and (2) create the insatiable appetite for energy that has helped to put us into an environmental crisis, in the first place? As if anyone needed a tank such as is pictured above, to cart themselves and their kids to the grocery store and soccer practice.

    And as for the idea that Ford’s 365-horsepower EcoBoost engine is “fuel efficient…proving you can have big power and fuel efficiency all in one package,” here’s the relevant clip from Ford’s own press release, comparing that engine, a V6, with “a conventional naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V-8″:

    “[T]his V-6 gives customers an approximate 2 mpg improvement.”

    Two mpg. Two. In the same press release, Ford claims that its EcoBoost technology can produce “up to 20 percent better fuel economy.” But 20 percent of 16 mpg city — what the V8 gets — is only 3.2 mpg. That’s paltry enough — but the 2 mpg gain Ford promises from the V6 is only a 1.25 percent improvement.

    Thanks, Ford.

    The fact is: Assuming the maximum improvement of 20 percent, an EcoBoost version even of a Ford Focus — which currently is rated at 24 mpg city / 35 mpg highway — would get only 29 mpg city / 42 mpg highway, the very bottom end of tolerable for an all-gasoline car this size. Indeed, similarly sized cars from Fiat are rated with combined — combined! — mpg in the 50s and 60s.

    EcoBoost is not a serious effort. It’s window dressing for more of the same foot dragging on fuel efficiency that we’ve been seeing from Detroit for decades.

    The Ford press release is at:

    http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=27455

  • John Lumea

    Nice to see that Ford is taking some small steps in the right direction.

    But does anyone see the irony in illustrating an item about what a “green choice” Ford is with a beefy SUV set against a pristine landscape — precisely the kind of image American automakers have been using for decades, in both print and television advertising, to (1) seduce consumers into the self-indulgent habit of buying these machines and (2) create the insatiable appetite for energy that has helped to put us into an environmental crisis, in the first place? As if anyone needed a tank such as is pictured above, to cart themselves and their kids to the grocery store and soccer practice.

    And as for the idea that Ford’s 365-horsepower EcoBoost engine is “fuel efficient…proving you can have big power and fuel efficiency all in one package,” here’s the relevant clip from Ford’s own press release, comparing that engine, a V6, with “a conventional naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V-8″:

    “[T]his V-6 gives customers an approximate 2 mpg improvement.”

    Two mpg. Two. In the same press release, Ford claims that its EcoBoost technology can produce “up to 20 percent better fuel economy.” But 20 percent of 16 mpg city — what the V8 gets — is only 3.2 mpg. That’s paltry enough — but the 2 mpg gain Ford promises from the V6 is only a 1.25 percent improvement.

    Thanks, Ford.

    The fact is: Assuming the maximum improvement of 20 percent, an EcoBoost version even of a Ford Focus — which currently is rated at 24 mpg city / 35 mpg highway — would get only 29 mpg city / 42 mpg highway, the very bottom end of tolerable for an all-gasoline car this size. Indeed, similarly sized cars from Fiat are rated with combined — combined! — mpg in the 50s and 60s.

    EcoBoost is not a serious effort. It’s window dressing for more of the same foot dragging on fuel efficiency that we’ve been seeing from Detroit for decades.

    The Ford press release is at:

    http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=27455

  • John Lumea

    Christopher,

    The reason that “some people want SUVs” is that Detroit has spent decades TELLING them they want SUVs, with a relentless television, print, and online advertising campaign that saturates the media — and seduces consumers — with images such as the one that illustrates this item. Images that “inseminate” viewers with testosterone-filled dreams of how totally AWESOME it would be to range over pristine landscapes in a gas-guzzling tank (even though, thankfully, 99% of the people who buy these utterly gratuitous machines never will have occasion to drive them over anything but the streets between their houses, the grocery store, and their kids’ soccer practice).

    It’s called suggestive selling.

  • John Lumea

    Christopher,

    The reason that “some people want SUVs” is that Detroit has spent decades TELLING them they want SUVs, with a relentless television, print, and online advertising campaign that saturates the media — and seduces consumers — with images such as the one that illustrates this item. Images that “inseminate” viewers with testosterone-filled dreams of how totally AWESOME it would be to range over pristine landscapes in a gas-guzzling tank (even though, thankfully, 99% of the people who buy these utterly gratuitous machines never will have occasion to drive them over anything but the streets between their houses, the grocery store, and their kids’ soccer practice).

    It’s called suggestive selling.

  • Peter

    From a Fusion Hybrid owner. Two five mile trips today, 46.1 and 43.4 mpg repsectively. One 75 mile trip yesterday, 46.5 mpg. I sure do like the way Ford makes that gasoline vapor wear….

  • Peter

    From a Fusion Hybrid owner. Two five mile trips today, 46.1 and 43.4 mpg repsectively. One 75 mile trip yesterday, 46.5 mpg. I sure do like the way Ford makes that gasoline vapor wear….

  • Mkkby

    “Ford isn’t going anywhere. They are one of the few companies taking a multi-pronged approach to increasing fuel efficiency without promising consumers vaporware that may never make it to market.”

    Christopher, Ford has over $200 billion in debt and $18 billion in cash. That is called insolvency. They ARE going away… slowly — a whimper, not a bang. Exactly what happened to GM and Chrysler. A steady erosion of market share because of not building what the consumer wants, at quality matching the Japanese.

  • Mkkby

    “Ford isn’t going anywhere. They are one of the few companies taking a multi-pronged approach to increasing fuel efficiency without promising consumers vaporware that may never make it to market.”

    Christopher, Ford has over $200 billion in debt and $18 billion in cash. That is called insolvency. They ARE going away… slowly — a whimper, not a bang. Exactly what happened to GM and Chrysler. A steady erosion of market share because of not building what the consumer wants, at quality matching the Japanese.

  • Christopher DeMorro

    Sooo much negativity…

    Let me just ask you this; what major car manufacturer would you have given the Green Choice award to?

    You have to give Ford credit in my mind because just five years ago they were among the worst offenders of fuel efficiency but they are actively stepping up and taking on a more responsible role in offering consumers more eco-friendly choices.

    Oh and Peter, by vaporware I was referring to Chrysler’s “ENVI” program. I still haven’t made up my mind on the Volt.

    One final thing: Ford sold more cars in April than either GM OR Toyota. Eroding market share? Not so much.

  • John Lumea

    There is no question but that Ford is doing some good things. But they are not yet serious. Nor is anybody else in Detroit.

    “Serious” means phasing out, i.e., weening consumers off of, two- and three-ton tanks — SUVs; crossovers; supersized trucks, wagons, and sedans — and instead producing primarily small and mid-sized vehicles in various configurations.

    Is Ford phasing out tanks? No. It is casting about for excuses to extend the shelf of these machines. Look at two of Ford’s first high-profile “eco” moves: hybridizing an SUV and squeezing an extra 2 mpg out of a 365-horsepower engine that will end up where? A tank.

    The hybrid Ford Fusion / Mercury Milan is terrific. So is Ford’s effort to reduce global energy use by a third. But any excitement about these initiatives has to be tempered by the recognition that Ford also is going to continue to produce — perhaps even ramp up production — of the worst fuel efficiency offenders.

    Plus — and here, I’m talking about all of the Big Three — car companies that are serious about sustainability don’t waste hundreds of millions of dollars to bring back muscle cars.

    It’s way too late for nostalgia trips.

  • John Lumea

    There is no question but that Ford is doing some good things. But they are not yet serious. Nor is anybody else in Detroit.

    “Serious” means phasing out, i.e., weening consumers off of, two- and three-ton tanks — SUVs; crossovers; supersized trucks, wagons, and sedans — and instead producing primarily small and mid-sized vehicles in various configurations.

    Is Ford phasing out tanks? No. It is casting about for excuses to extend the shelf of these machines. Look at two of Ford’s first high-profile “eco” moves: hybridizing an SUV and squeezing an extra 2 mpg out of a 365-horsepower engine that will end up where? A tank.

    The hybrid Ford Fusion / Mercury Milan is terrific. So is Ford’s effort to reduce global energy use by a third. But any excitement about these initiatives has to be tempered by the recognition that Ford also is going to continue to produce — perhaps even ramp up production — of the worst fuel efficiency offenders.

    Plus — and here, I’m talking about all of the Big Three — car companies that are serious about sustainability don’t waste hundreds of millions of dollars to bring back muscle cars.

    It’s way too late for nostalgia trips.

  • John Lumea

    CORRECTION RE MY LAST POST

    The beginning of the third paragraph should read:

    “Is Ford phasing out tanks? No. It is casting about for excuses to extend the shelf life of these machines.”

  • John Lumea

    CORRECTION RE MY LAST POST

    The beginning of the third paragraph should read:

    “Is Ford phasing out tanks? No. It is casting about for excuses to extend the shelf life of these machines.”

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