PlantBottle Ford Fusion on Display at Chicago Auto Show

Ford Plantbottle Fusion PHEV

We first met Ford’s PlantBottle Fusion Energi PHEV last fall, when Ford announced a partnership with Coca-Cola to develop a line of sustainable, recyclable, and bio-degradable plant-based plastics for use in Ford’s automotive interiors. At the time, the company talked about plant-based fibers being used in the seats, headliners, etc., but the question was out there: how does it feel?

And, by “it”, I mean this …

Ford Plantbottle interior

… it’s a sharp-looking interior, sure. The Ford Fusion Energi has all the modern mainstream touches that its competitors have- big touchscreen, thick steering wheel, sporty-looking seats, a giant knob in the middle of the dash, etc. It also has a few neat-o touches like a repeating “leaf” graphic in the seat inserts and a shock of neon-green- well, it’s not exactly piping. It’s like piping, though. Unfortunately for Ford, however, the seats felt weird.

How do I mean “weird”, exactly? I couldn’t say- but they definitely felt a bit “off”. Maybe they felt too sticky, or not sticky enough- but they certainly didn’t feel like cloth and they certainly didn’t feel like suede (neither Alcantara, Novasuede, or the kind that used to be a cow suede), and I sincerely wish I could do a better job of explaining the tactile sensations I got from the PlantBottle stuff. That said, if the in-laws asked me how it felt, I’d tell them it felt “cheap”.

So, yeah. The PlantBottle interior feels cheap.

Still, that doesn’t mean the plant-based plastic future is a bad idea- the technology may just need time to catch up, you know? Until then, you can check out some of the close-up details that went into setting this particular Ford Fusion Energi apart from its more pedestrian brethren in the photos, below.


Original content from Gas 2.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.