Ford Motor in the UK will spend at least £1 billion (US$1.8 billion) to develop a range of global environmental technologies in the UK for its Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo brands.
The project is designed to deliver more than 100 models and derivatives that reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions, including for example, a regular Ford Focus—the UK’s best-selling car—capable of more than 58 miles per gallon US (70 mpg Imperial) and CO2 emissions of less than 100 g/km.
This engineering program doubles the rate of environmental spending in the past. The project will require collaboration between the 9,500 engineers that work at Ford, Jaguar and Land Rover R&D centres in the UK and the broader strategy will also bring together engineers from Volvo in Sweden and Ford’s engineering bases in Europe and worldwide.
Climate change is one of the greatest single challenges facing the auto industry and society today. A broad business strategy that serves all our brands is the only way we can achieve the level of improvement in emissions and fuel economy required.
We are not going to introduce just one or two high-profile green cars that sell in relatively low numbers and leave it at that. By pooling our engineering investment, our brands will develop a broader range of technologies, available faster than they could afford individually. And by deploying these technologies across the breadth of our product range—mass market and premium products, passenger cars and commercial vehicles—we can deliver far more significant reductions in the total amount of CO2 generated by our total vehicle fleet. We can also help reduce our customers’ consumption of fossil fuels, which saves them money.
We are doubling the proportion of our spending here in the UK that goes into developing and deploying environmental technologies. But we call on all stakeholders to play their part in a holistic approach to develop technological solutions in cars, fuels and transport infrastructure to address climate change.
We need governments to set the right legislative and fiscal framework to allow competing environmental technologies to flourish without distorting the marketplace. That means focusing incentives on the CO2 outcomes rather than the vehicle or fuel technologies that deliver them. It also means more engagement with consumers to encourage a shift in behaviour over time.
It is critical that taxation incentives are intelligently applied across all car segments and over time to encourage sustained improvement. Dramatic tax changes which distort the market or unfairly target specific market segments will not achieve the results we all want to see.—Lewis Booth, Ford of Europe and PAG Chairman and CEO
Ford will develop a range of technologies in pursuit of its goals.
We believe we have to follow a multiple technology strategy for three reasons. First, there is no single technology on the horizon that will enable the automotive industry to play its full part in stabilizing levels of atmospheric CO2. Second, we also cannot say for certain which way the market will go in the future and how much regional differences will play a part. Ultimately it will be customers who decide which technologies best suit their needs. And finally, as vehicles get cleaner and cleaner the technological challenge to eek out further improvement increases. By deploying multiple technologies we are able to make a series of small and medium size gains and leverage our range of vehicles and sales volume.—Richard Parry Jones, Ford Chief Technical Officer
Ford will emphasize five key technology areas:
Lightweight materials. Ford will develop a new generation of lightweight premium vehicles. Jaguar has already launched two of the industry’s first mass produced all-aluminium monocoque vehicles.
Gasoline direct injection, advanced diesel, and new transmissions. Ford will offer five new gasoline engines with direct injection technology. These will selectively be further enhanced with pressure charging, stop/start capability and advanced valve actuation. These engines will enable downsizing while maintaining performance and driveability, offering a CO2 saving per engine of up to 20%.
Ford will launch three new advanced diesel engines with further CO2 improvements of 5-10% per unit.
Plans also include four new and advanced transmissions that through more efficient matching of gearing to engine speed will deliver CO 2 savings per unit of 5-10%.
Hybrid-electric systems tailored for different segments. Different driving conditions and the already high level of market acceptance for diesel technology in Europe will likely mean different couplings of engines and hybrid systems than in North America. Ford sees, for example, that micro-hybrid diesels provide a better cost-benefit proposition to customers than full gasoline hybrids, and are therefore the more compelling option for the European market.The company will introduce a variety of systems deploying different levels of hybridization (micro/mild/full) coupled with either diesel or gasoline engines depending on customer acceptance in different global markets and the appropriateness for different vehicle types. Ford estimates the resulting CO2 reductions ranging from 8% for a micro-hybrid to 25% for a full hybrid.
Alternative fuels. Ford will develop more core models across the brands with E85 capability. (In certain European markets such as Sweden, 80% of Ford Focus and Ford Focus C-Max and 16% of Volvo S40 and Volvo V50 sales are flex-fuel.) Ford is also currently working with BP on several projects that look at cars and fuels as a system to discover the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions.
Both companies recognize that while existing bio-fuels will continue to play a role in the gasoline and diesel markets, more investment in R&D is required to deliver advanced bio-fuels solutions for the future.—Phil New, BP Senior Vice President
Driver behavior. Ford is developing a set of driver information systems and selectable driving modes to allow the driver to optimize the operation of the vehicle to maximize the benefits of the fuel economy technologies. The company is also seeking to improve warm-up times, cut out drag and reduce loads by the smart switching of systems, reduce pumping and hydraulic losses and look at each system with a view to improving its interaction with the rest of the vehicle.