Ford Sustainability on the Move
Ford unveiled a new sustainable partnership with tequila maker Jose Cuervo at the Dallas Farmers’ Market to develop a sustainable, lightweight material for use in its vehicle lineup. The collaboration expands the automaker’s portfolio of Earth-conscious materials to include Cuervo’s agave plant byproduct to develop more sustainable bioplastics. They are testing the the material for use in vehicle interior and exterior components such as wiring harnesses, HVAC units and storage bins.
Ford began researching the use of sustainable materials in its vehicles in 2000. Today, the automaker uses several bio-based materials in its vehicles and is testing many more for future applications including algae, tomato peel and carbon dioxide. The work helps improve Ford’s environmental impact by reducing the use of petrochemicals and reducing carbon emissions, while also light-weighting vehicles to reduce fossil fuel use.
Ford uses several sustainable materials, including Kenaf, a tropical plant in the cotton family, in the door bolsters of Ford Escape; REPREVE fabric, made from recycled plastic bottles, to divert more than 5 million plastic bottles from landfill annually (Ford most recently introduced REPREVE in the F-150); post-consumer cotton from denim and T-shirts as interior padding and sound insulation in most Ford vehicles.
EcoLon post-consumer nylon carpeting is used as cylinder head covers in Ford Escape, Fusion, Mustang and F-150. Recycled plastic bottles are becoming floor carpeting, wheel liners and shields in several vehicles, including Ford Transit and C-MAX. Recycled post-consumer tires are used in seals and gaskets. Rice hulls are used to reinforce plastic in Ford F-150 electrical harness. Soy-based foams are used as seat cushions, seatbacks and head restraints in Ford’s North American vehicle lineup. Wheat straw is used in Ford Flex to reinforce storage bins.
Cellulose tree fibers are used in the armrest of Lincoln MKX. Used to replace glass-filled plastic, this industry-first material weighs 10 percent less, is produced 30 percent faster and reduces carbon emissions.