New technology in 2013 Ford Fusion cuts CO2 emmissions by tons
When the new 2013 Ford Fusion arrives at dealer lots it has already gained an edge on the competition with regard to CO2 reductions. That is because the new Ford Fusion will be using a new technology from BASF that allows the interior trim of the vehicle to be durable, mar resistant, and appear to be of high quality, but will skip a painting step.
Inside each new Ford Fusion created in the past a customer would find a glossy, hard-coated interior trim that required clear coat painting which comes along with CO2 emissions and VOC emissions. This is not unusual and is the industry standard. However, on the new 2013 Fusion, BASF will be providing Ford with an all-new material that will allow that trim piece to be created with a similar result, but without the painting. The skipped paint results in some VOC reductions, but that isn’t where the real savings in harmful environmental gases is found.
Like many new vehicles, the 2013 Ford Fusion is not made all in one location. Parts are made in a multitude of locations and they are shipped around to the final assembly area, or to a sub-assembly area. This is the key to saving the CO2. In the past the Ford Fusions interior trim was Kalamazoo Michigan and then shipped to Grand Rapids for painting. The parts travel resulted in 59,400 tons of CO2 being released into the atmosphere each year. That is because the trucks hauling those parts used 2,700 gallons of diesel fuel each year to make the trip. That begs the question of why Ford does not use its own electric Ford Transit Connect EVs for parts transport, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Huge volumes of parts are transported annually, and they are moved using liquid fuels. By making this change Ford will eliminate a step which saves 50% of the cost of the part and also helps the environment.
In a comment on the manufacturing of the 2013 Ford Fusion, Robert Bedard, Body Interior Core Engineer for Ford said “We need to leave no stone unturned in our continuous quest to make auto manufacturing as environmentally friendly as possible. This improved resin saves Ford significant dollars, but it also helps eliminate VOC from being released into the atmosphere, since the application of clear-coat paint is no longer required. As is so often the case with manufacturing, going green means saving green. We cut fuel usage, VOC and carbon emissions, and we save 50 percent on the cost of these parts alone.” The only downside to the new material is that it is made from the paws of bunnies (Kidding! Just checking to see if you were still reading).
Ford deserves credit for highlighting that the manufacture of a vehicle brings with it huge emissions in CO2. It also points out that the more steps that are required, the more of a CO2 emissions debt the vehicle starts with. This would be a great topic for all of the manufacturers to highlight when they promote vehicles with double drivetrains, like hybrids, for example.