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Ford to offer new diesel engine option in new Transit van; new Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Cost Calculator

Ford will bring the all-new Ford Transit commercial van to market with an option for an all-new diesel engine as well as the 3.5L EcoBoost V6. (Earlier post.) Ford says that the new Transit, which begins production in Kansas City in 2013, will achieve at least 25% better fuel economy than current E-Series vans.

Speaking to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, Kevin Koswick, director, North American Fleet, Lease and Remarketing Operations for Ford said the company will provide customers with a range of options to reduce their operating costs through a lineup of fuel-efficient engines and alternative-fuel technologies, including EcoBoost (turbocharged, gasoline direct injection); hybrid; plug-in hybrid; battery-electric; biodiesel; and CNG/LPG.

Ford also has developed a specialized new tool to help optimize fleet purchases based on specific fuel types and operating locations. Called the Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Cost Calculator, the new tool is designed to help fleet customers understand their current carbon footprint and to model various scenarios based on the types of vehicles they choose for their fleets. The tool incorporates important information to evaluate fuel costs and emissions, providing an opportunity for fleet managers to quickly evaluate multiple options.

The Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Cost Calculator utilizes such information as vehicle type, fuel type and traffic conditions (stop-and-go city traffic or on the highway, for instance), along with the geographic region in which the car will be used to generate information about the efficiency of a fleet.

The proprietary program, which must be used in conjunction with the support of a Ford representative, will create customized scenarios for customers by using special formulas and variables to determine the environmental impact and fuel costs of specific vehicles.

For example, the tool can demonstrate how operating an electric vehicle in Portland, Ore., has different environmental ramifications from operating one in Philadelphia. This is due to hydropower being a common source of electricity in the Pacific Northwest, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, compared with the mostly coal-based electricity used in the East Central region.

Ford has gained major market share in key commercial vehicle segments as the economy rebounds from the industry lows of 2009. In vans, where Ford E-Series has been the best-seller for 32 years, market share grew from 49.8% in 2008 to 53.7% in 2011, even as new competitors entered the market.

E-Series full-size vans and cutaways are available with flex fuel or CNG/LPG gaseous engine prep package fuel systems.


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