Ford Greens Up 2011 Explorer SUV

Ford last week revealed that its upcoming 2011 Explorer will be one very green vehicle – minus a hybrid or electric engine design – via large scale use of recycled and renewable materials in its body design. The automaker said specifically the SUV will be 85 percent recyclable while also reportedly being the fuel economy class leader in its vehicle segment.

The Explorer’s noise-dampening fender baffles, according to Ford, will be made from steel left over after stamping the door openings out of F-150 body sides. This reuse will reportedly allow Ford to reduce its use of virgin steel by an estimated 119 tons for one year of production. The vehicle’s interior, meanwhile, uses 25 percent recycled fiber in the fabrics, including seat upholstery, bolster and carpeting. It will also feature 40 percent soy polyurethane foam in seat cushions and seatbacks.

Ford 2011 Explorer

image via Ford

On the fuel economy side, the 2011 Explorer has two new self-reported fuel-efficient engines, including a V6 and a turbocharged, direct-injection 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. This latter engine is said to deliver more than 30 percent better fuel economy than the current V6-powered Explorer.

“Ford has made tremendous strides, not only in improving fuel economy in the new Explorer, but also in using more environmentally friendly materials,” said Jim Holland, chief nameplate engineer, in a statement. “By offering better fuel efficiency in an overall greener package, we’re offering our SUV customers an appealing and sustainable product.”

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I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.