EPA cites Ford as automaker with most fuel economy improvement

Ford's combined car and truck fuel economy has improved nearly 20% since 2004.

01/04/2010


FordMotor Company has improved in fuel economy more than any other major automakersince 2004, according to a recent report by the U.S. Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA). The EPA rated Ford's combined car and truck fuel economyimprovement at nearly 20 percent, almost double the next closest competitor.

2010 Ford Fusion

2010 Ford Fusion. Source: Ford Motor Co.


As

an example of this increase, Ford notes that the fuel efficiency of the 2010

Ford Fusion improved 21% over the 2009 model, jumping from 28 mpg to 34 mpg in

highway driving. Powertrain improvements were a big difference maker in this improvement -- Fusion

and other new models benefit from the introduction of Ford's new six-speed

transmission, which offers a wider gear span than four-speed transmissions.

The

six-speed allowed Ford's engineers the flexibility to tune the powertrain for

greater responsiveness in low gears and better fuel economy in the taller

gears. The new double-overdrive gearbox is designed to contribute up to 4% fuel

economy improvement. Ford says it is committed to having almost 100% of its

transmissions be advanced six-speed gearboxes by 2013.

Beyond

the powertrain, Ford credits its recent gains in fuel economy in part

to its introduction of the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner hybrids and

numerous incremental aerodynamic, mechanical, energy management and

weight-saving improvements across its vehicle lineup. Going forward, it expects its Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids and its

fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines to further improve its fleet-wide fuel economy.

EcoBoost

engines are available in the Ford Taurus, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS and Lincoln

MKT. Recently honored with a Popular Mechanics' Breakthrough Award,EcoBoost uses gasoline turbocharged direct-injection technology for up to 20%better fuel economy, 15% fewer CO 2 emissions and superior drivingperformance versus larger-displacement engines.

Ford EcoBoost Engine

Ford's EcoBoost Engine uses gasoline turbocharged direct-injection technology for up to 20% better fuel economy and 15% fewer CO2 emissions. Source: Ford Motor Co.



On

average, nearly one in five buyers of the Taurus, Flex, Lincoln MKS and MKT

have opted for EcoBoost since the engine lineup's introduction in August. By

2013, Ford says it will offer EcoBoost engines in 90% of its product lineup

with annual volume of vehicles with EcoBoost at 1.3 million globally.

The

progress made by Ford during the past few years reflects an engineering

philosophy that every joule of energy gained through incremental improvement is

precious. Ford engineers use a systems approach to manage vehicle energy and

implement a variety of design and engineering solutions that caneach improve

fuel economy by 1% or more. Taken together, the improvements help deliver

significant savings for consumers at the pump.

Ford

is also eliminating energy waste in every vehicle system, including power

steering. Ford's new Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) can improve fuel

economy up to 3%, while reducing CO 2 emissions and enhancingsteering performance.

According

to Ford, depending on powertrain specifications, the 2010 Fusion, Fusion

Hybrid, Escape Hybrid, Taurus SHO, Flex, F-Series and Transit Connect offer

best-in-class or unsurpassed fuel economy. The company says the same can be

said of the 2010 Lincoln MKS and MKT and Navigator, Mercury Milan Hybrid and

Mariner Hybrid.

Ford

expects to see its overall fuel economy continue to rise in 2010 with the

introduction of the 2011 Ford Fiesta and redesigned 2011 Ford Focus -- both

high-mileage small cars.

In

addition to fuel economy, Ford also reports that it has lowered its tailpipe CO 2 emissions more than any other automaker, with a fleet-wide average of 434 gramsper mile -- 37 grams lower than its 2007 total and 25 grams lower than 2008.

Launched

in 2009, Ford plans to continue following what it calls "an aggressive plan" to

bring pure battery-electric vehicles, next-generation lithium-ion battery

powered hybrids and a plug-in hybrid to market quickly and more affordably during

the next four years. Vehicles included in this plan are:

  • Transit Connectbattery-electric commercial van in 2010
  • Focus Electric passenger carin 2011
  • Next-generation hybridvehicle in 2012
  • Plug-in hybrid in 2012


Fordclaims these new vehicles pave the way for additional applications in thefuture, using Ford's high-volume global small car and midsize car platforms.

As

part of Ford's electrification plan, it will bring battery system design,

development and manufacturing in house as a core competency in support of the

development of its next-generation hybrid vehicle in 2012. Ford will continue

to work with supplier Johnson Controls-Saft on the design and development of

battery cells and packs for Ford's PHEV that also launches in 2012.

Access

other ControlEngineering content related to automotive sustainabilityefforts:

- Edited by David Greenfield , editorial director
Control Engineering Sustainable Engineering
News Desk





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