Ford Focuses On EV’s Green Qualities

Ford might be behind the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf in getting its electric vehicle to market, but since formally unveiling the Focus Electric a few weeks ago the automaker is working hard to keep the car top of mind. The latest info dump from Ford is all about the Focus Electric’s green qualities –  beyond the obvious zero-emissions.

The company pointed specifically to the use of recycled or renewable materials instead of petroleum based ones. For instance, the seat cushions are shaped from 8 percent soy-based content. And Lignotock, a material that Ford said is derived from 85 percent wood fiibers, is used behind the cloth on the doors. According to Ford, Lignotock is lighter than standard glass-reinforced thermal plastics, and also does a better job keeping out road noises.

Ford Focus Electric

image via Ford

Carrie Majeske, the product sustainability manager for Ford, said that recycled materials are particularly useful in resins. “We have a strategy that specifies the use of a large quantity of post-consumer recycled material in a range of plastic applications,” she said. “Pop bottles and milk jugs eventually become part of components like underbody shields, wheel arch liners and air cleaner assemblies.”

And Ford is always sure to mention that the Wayne, Mich., assembly plant where the Focus Electric will be produced is getting a 500-kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic panel system. And since it’s not always sunny in Michigan and work doesn’t only happen during daytime, the system will include batteries capable of storing 2 million watt-hours of energy.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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