June 02, 2012

By the sustainable numbers: A look at the 2013 Ford Fusion

When Ford’s all-new Fusion hits America’s highways this fall, it will carry some unexpected materials beneath its aerodynamically fuel-efficient body:
> Denim material equivalent to slightly more than two average-sized pairs of blue jeans
> 38.9 clear plastic
16-ounce recycled bottles
> About 31,250 soybeans

“Building vehicles with great fuel economy is our highest priority in reducing impact on the environment,” says Carrie Majeske, Ford product sustainability manager. “With every new product design, we also are charged with increasing the use of renewable and recyclable materials in our cars, utilities and trucks to reduce impact on the environment.”

Fusion’s jean pool
Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) control is held to world-class standards in the all-new Ford Fusion with post-industrial, recycled cotton used as sound-absorbing material. In every Fusion, the denim equivalent of slightly more than two pairs of average-sized American blue jeans helps to nullify unwanted road, wind and powertrain noise. Paired with other noise-reducing practices and techniques Ford engineers have implemented for years, the 2013 Fusion will provide customers with a quiet, relaxing driving environment.

Clearly sustainable
Fusion’s North American cloth seat surfaces are made with 100 per cent Repreve yarn, which is a hybrid of post-industrial and post-consumer waste (or materials once utilised for industry purposes; and materials used by everyday consumers respectively). Cloth-seat Fusion models contain the equivalent of 38.9 recycled, clear 16-ounce plastic bottles. This fabric meets or exceeds all of Ford’s rigorous durability and performance standards and has a luxurious feel.

Post-consumer plastic water and soda bottles are collected, chopped, ground, melted and reformulated into chips. These chips are then extruded and textured into fiber. The fibers are then used in the creation of fabric, then dyed, finished and rolled for shipment.

Excess fabric from each procedure in the process is recycled back into the system to further eliminate waste.

Foam from soy
The foam used in seat cushions, seat backs and head restraints is a soy-based sustainable material, with the equivalent of approximately 31,250 soybeans.

Ford first used soy-based foam in the Ford Mustang in 2007. Today, Ford uses soy foam on every vehicle built in North America. Ford’s use of soy foam has reduced petroleum production by more than 5-million pounds and carbon dioxide emissions by more than 20-million pounds annually.

Post-consumer materials
Every 2013 Fusion utilises plastic made from recycled car battery casings. These post-consumer materials were otherwise destined for a landfill. This plastic may be found in fender splash shields and other underbody components. Annually, these applications on the Fusion utilise close to 2-million pounds of recycled plastic.

Unique contributions add up
“We are holistic in reducing our environmental footprint by utilizing post-industrial (blue jeans), post-consumer (battery cases) and sustainable materials technologies (soy foam),” Majeske says. “We do whatever makes the most sense for each application and environmentally from a lifecycle perspective.

“These are steps our customers can appreciate, they are cost-effective and they are better - in the long run - for our planet,” she adds.


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