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