Ford Lowers Emissions in New Electric Cars and in Running the Company

FORD C-MAX ENERGIBy John Addison (2/29/12)

Ford is gaining market share, making money, and lowering emissions. For a typical American car being driven 15,000 miles annually, 8 tons of CO2 emissions result. The number is higher if emissions from making the car are added.

Some of Ford’s most exciting new electric and hybrid cars will be a fraction of typical emissions including the Ford Focus Electric, the Ford Transit Connect Electric, the Ford C-MAX Energi, the Ford C-MAX Hybrid, the Ford Fusion Energi and the Ford Fusion Hybrid. All get over 40 miles per gallon. By 2020, ten to 25 percent of all Ford cars will be hybrid or electric.

Ford only Automaker to receive Climate Leadership Award

Not only is Ford Motor Company showing leadership in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of its vehicles, but the company is also being recognized for its greenhouse gas leadership in manufacturing as well. Today, Ford received a Climate Leadership Award at the inaugural United States Environmental Protection Agency Climate Leadership Awards Ceremony and Conference. Ford was the only automobile manufacturer to receive an award.

Ford had previously established vehicle CO2 goals based on its contribution to achieving 450-ppm atmospheric CO2 concentration. Applying this stabilization goal to its manufacturing operations helped the company develop its stated goal of 30 percent reduction per vehicle built between 2010 and 2025.

Ford reduced CO2 emissions from its global manufacturing facilities by approximately 49 percent, or 4.8 million metric tons, from 2000 to 2010. During this same period, the company reduced facilities-related CO2 emissions per vehicle by 30 percent.

Ford was the first automaker to join The Climate Registry, voluntarily committing to measure, independently verify, and publicly report greenhouse gas emissions on an annual basis. Ford was the first automaker to participate in greenhouse gas reporting initiatives in China, Australia, the Philippines and Mexico.

Ford received its sixth consecutive EPA Energy Star Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award, which recognizes the company’s continued leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. Ford’s Global Emissions Manager database is used to track energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental metrics to enable internal progress reports and public reporting.

Energy Efficiency and Emissions Reduction Technology

Ford plans to achieve its goal through a variety of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction technologies, including:

  •     Improved paint processes: Improved paint processes include implementation of the 3-wet paint process and recirculation of air in paint spray booths. The 3-wet process reduces volatile organic compounds (VOC) by 10 percent and CO2 emissions by up to 40 percent.
  •     Robotic parts washing system: Cleans parts mechanically by moving them in front of specialized high-pressure nozzles with a robotic arm. This new robotics-based system saves energy because, unlike previous systems, it does not require any heat. It also uses a much smaller water pump.
  •     Minimum Quantity Lubrication: In MQL, a machining tool is lubricated with a very small amount of oil sprayed directly on the tip of the tool in a finely atomized mist, instead of with a large quantity of coolant/water mixture.
  •     Paint Emissions Concentrator: VOC emissions are super-concentrated approximately 2000:1. In this super-concentrated state, the VOCs themselves can be burned as a fuel source, reducing the amount of natural gas necessary to destroy them. By reducing the need for natural gas, the fumes-to-fuel system has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 80 to 85 percent.
  •     Efficient Lighting: During 2010 and 2011, Ford packaged 40 buildings in the Dearborn, Michigan, area into a performance contract for efficient lighting that project reduced energy use by more than 18.2 million kilowatt-hours – enough to power 1,648 U.S. homes for a year. The project also eliminated more than 11,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

Ford is lowering emissions per car and improving mileage, which saves at the pump, lowering the lifetime cost of operating a Ford. This resonates with customers who are steering more business to Ford. The company is also admired for not taking bailout money, even though it lost over $14 billion in the heart of the recession in 2008. In 2011, Ford made over $20 billion even as it squeezed greenhouse gas emissions from its operations and its cars.

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About Author: John Addison

Founder of the Clean Fleet Report, author of Save Gas, Save the Planet. John writes about electric cars, renewable energy, and sustainability.

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