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Ahead of the Geneva Motor Show next month, Ford has further elaborated on its sustainable mobility plans. Just as Ford execs like Derrik Kuzak have described here in the U.S. recently, Ford's European plan includes cost-effective solutions. With the intent to get large numbers of cars with reduced emissions and fuel consumption on the road as soon as possible, Ford intends to pursue some of the same strategies in Europe that it's using in the U.S. Last fall in Frankfurt, Ford announced plans to add an ECOnetic edition to each model in its lineup. The ECOnetic models would be optimized for ultra-low CO2 emissions, with extra-efficient diesel engines, low rolling resistance tires, and other tweaks.
Ford will also offer their EcoBoost engines in European models. The EcoBoost engines were announced at the Detroit Auto Show and feature turbocharging and direct fuel injection on smaller displacement four- and six-cylinder engines. The EcoBoost engines will provide the power and torque of larger engines with much lower fuel consumption. By the end of 2008, Ford will have E85 flex-fuel engines to the Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy, bringing its total in Europe to five models. In certain markets where a fueling infrastructure is available, Ford will offer models that run on LPG or compressed natural gas, too.
Gallery: Ford ECONetic
AFFORDABLE TECHNOLOGY FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW: FORD TARGETS LOW EMISSIONSFord ECOnetic: Class-leading to amongst best in class ultra-low CO 2 emissions with high tech conventional powertrain technology Ford EcoBoost petrol direct injection turbo engines for the future will deliver better fuel economy, lower CO 2 emissions and superior driving performance from smaller displacement engines Ford Flexifuel: Using renewable energy for low CO 2 emissions. Ford of Europe boosting its market leadership position by adding three new Flexifuel models to its existing line-up Highly competitive CO 2 performance from Ford's regular range of petrol and diesel engines Product portfolio complemented by CNG/LPG vehicles in markets with supporting fuel infrastructures
Ford of Europe's response to how mobility can be made more sustainable - today and for the near future - can be seen at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. The company is showing a broad range of practical and affordable low-CO 2 vehicle solutions.
"Sustainable mobility imposes a huge challenge for society and the automotive industry, and there is still a long journey ahead of us," said John Fleming, Ford of Europe President and CEO. "But technically viable and affordable ways to reduce the burden on the environment without giving up basic needs such as personal mobility are available immediately from Ford of Europe."
"Our near-term focus is the new Ford ECOnetic line of ultra-low CO 2 emission cars and our bio-ethanol powered Flexifuel vehicles, a technology for which we are a leader in Europe and the market pioneer. Further out, we're working on a range of affordable new petrol engines under the Ford EcoBoost name. These use a combination of direct fuel injection and turbocharging technologies to deliver better performance, emissions and economy from smaller displacement engines."
"In addition to our dedicated lines of low- CO 2 vehicles, our current standard range of vehicles is highly competitive in terms of CO 2 as well. This demonstrates how serious we are in our commitment to reduce continuously the carbon footprint of our cars. And this without sacrificing any of the other trademark qualities customers expect from Ford vehicles: style through 'kinetic design'; excellent driving dynamics and dependability throughout the lifetime of the vehicle," Fleming added.
The new Ford ECOnetic range of ultra-low CO 2 vehicles offers an alternative to customers who prioritise low emissions performance in their purchasing decision.
The name 'Ford ECOnetic' echoes the company's strategy to link ecologically advanced and affordable technology to its kinetic design 'energy in motion' philosophy for both driving quality and emotional styling.
The first Ford ECOnetic models to be launched in 2008 use a combination of the latest common-rail diesel powertrains together with other carefully-selected features engineered to reduce CO 2 emissions to the absolute minimum.
This demonstrates that very favourable fuel consumption levels and significantly reduced CO 2 emissions can both be achieved using conventional drive technology, coupled with a clever combination of individual, fuel-saving measures.
The first model, available now, joins the company's most popular range. The new Ford Focus ECOnetic delivers an average fuel consumption of just 4.3 l/100km. This corresponds to a conventional powertrain best-in-class CO 2 emission performance of only 115g/km.
Using the already very economical regular 109 PS version with Diesel Particulate Filter as a base, the starting point in achieving such values was to reduce drive resistances. To improve aerodynamics, the vehicle was lowered by 10 millimetres at the front and 8 millimetres at the back. An aerodynamics kit is standard, consisting of a modified front bumper skirt and rocker claddings and a rear spoiler.
To improve the aerodynamics further, the outer areas of the lower grille were given blanking plates on the inside. In combination with low-rolling resistance 195/65R15 tyres, a very good coefficient of drag (cd) of 0.31 is achieved.
A further measure to reduce driving resistance also being used for the first time in the Focus ECOnetic is the introduction of new low-viscosity transmission oil developed as a result of the strategic alliance between Ford and its energy partner BP. Under testing, the efficiency benefits were found to be so significant that this new BP transmission oil is to be introduced across other Ford products in the C and CD segments.
The Ford ECOnetic vehicle portfolio has now been extended to include a sub-140 g/km CO 2 Mondeo ECOnetic and this will be followed by a sub-100 g/km CO 2 model in Ford's all-new Fiesta range.
The new Mondeo ECOnetic is equipped with a 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi engine, delivering 115 PS (85 kW) with a 6-speed manual transmission and a Diesel Particulate Filter. Generic measures to achieve the low CO 2 emission target are an engine re-calibration, lowered suspension, low rolling resistance tyres, and aerodynamic improvements like grille blanking inserts.
In addition, different transmission ratios and the new low viscosity transmission oil contribute to this vehicle emitting less than 140 g/km CO 2 on average.
The Future: New Ford EcoBoost Technology
At the Detroit Motor Show in January 2008, Ford Motor Company announced that it is working to introduce a new family of petrol engines called EcoBoost that will deliver better fuel economy and lower CO 2 emissions.
The Ford EcoBoost 4- and 6-cylinder petrol engines combine turbocharging and direct injection technology, allowing for the downsizing of engine capacity but with improved torque and performance. The technology will first be used in 2009 on Ford's 3.5-litre V6 in North America in the new Lincoln MKS luxury sedan and Ford Flex. Other vehicles will quickly follow as EcoBoost technology will be available on nearly all Ford vehicles, from small cars to large SUVs and pickups.
With direct injection, fuel is injected into each cylinder of an engine in small, precise amounts. Compared to conventional port injection, direct injection produces a cooler, denser charge, delivering higher fuel economy and performance.
When combined with modern-day turbocharging - which uses waste energy from the exhaust gas to drive the turbine - direct injection provides the best of both worlds: the responsiveness of a larger displacement engine with fewer trips to the petrol station.
Compared with more expensive hybrids, EcoBoost builds upon contemporary, affordable petrol engine technology and improves it, providing more customers with a way to improve fuel economy and emissions without compromising driving performance.
Ford of Europe is embracing this technology as part of its broad range of sustainability initiatives and will introduce a new generation of petrol engines featuring EcoBoost advanced direct injection technology over the next few years. Full details of timing, the technical details of the engines, and the vehicles/series into which they will be introduced will be revealed closer to launch.
In adding the new Ford ECOnetic diesel derivatives to its extensive product line-up, the company will offer customers across Europe a minimum of eight affordable choices for environmentally friendly cars by the end of 2008 - three Ford ECOnetics, and five Ford Flexifuel cars.
Ford of Europe is a leader in Flexifuel technology, which uses regenerative energy sources produced from renewable biomass. From early 2008, Ford will offer one of the broadest ranges of Flexifuel models in Europe, as it expands to include versions of the new Ford Mondeo, the Ford S-MAX and the Ford Galaxy in addition to the existing Ford C-MAX and new Ford Focus Flexifuel models.
All of Ford's Flexifuel vehicles can be fuelled with bio-ethanol E85 (a blend of 85 per cent bio-ethanol and 15 per cent petrol), or petrol, or any mixture of both fuels in one tank, as an alternative to conventional petrol technology only.
The combined use of bio-ethanol as a fuel and Ford's Flexifuel technology can reduce total life cycle ('well-to-wheel') CO 2 emissions by between 30 per cent and 80 per cent (d epending on feedstock used and production process; source: EUCAR Concawe study; vs. conventional petrol technology), without compromising performance and driving quality.
Ford believes bio-fuels represent an opportunity to make mobility more sustainable and welcomes European Union and individual EU government initiatives to create a certification for sustainable production of bio-fuels.
Ford also offers selected models converted to run on LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). These models are available in a number of European countries where the fuelling infrastructure is available to support customers who choose this option.
Climate Change: Concerted Efforts Needed
Global warming is one of the biggest challenges facing society. Adding to the complexity of this vast issue is the fact there is no single solution for addressing climate change. The nature, size and urgency of global warming means a wide range of stakeholders must embrace the problem in an integrated, coordinated way. Just as we are all part of the problem, we must also all be a part of the solution.
For the automotive sector, this includes the vehicle manufacturers, the fuel industry, governments and consumers.
" Whilst there is no single catch-all solution on the horizon, Ford is committed to sharing in its responsibility to address the problem, as part of concerted, cross-societal efforts," said Fleming. "We will continue working on a portfolio of environmentally advanced vehicles and technologies to maintain momentum.
The main challenges are to continuously make our products more sustainable by further reducing their environmental impact, whilst enhancing their value to society and keeping our focus on efficiency and affordability."
"Ford Motor Company has been included in the last six consecutive (2002 to 2007) Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, one of the key global references for companies committed to economic, environmental and socially sustainable practices. Ford's inclusion is a sign that the company is heading in the right direction with its strategy and actions. However, we recognise the inherent challenge of continuous improvement that our inclusion implies."
"In the near term, immediately available Ford ECOnetic and Flexifuel vehicles take us another step along this journey, and over the next few years the introduction of a range of Ford EcoBoost petrol direct injection powertrains for Ford vehicles around the world will make our low CO 2 portfolio even broader," Fleming concluded.