Usually when someone says something is full of beans, they mean it’s full of energy and enthusiasm.

When talking about a Ford, they’d be right of course, but they’d also be literally right. That’s because at Ford, we’re stocking our vehicle headrests, seat cushions and seatbacks with soybean oil-based foams.

At the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, Michigan, there is a team devoted to the development of green plastic materials. After years of hard work, the team perfected a way to use soy foams. These foams were first launched in 2008 and are now used in every single North American vehicle that Ford builds.

This is bringing significant benefits for the environment, such as:

• A reduction of C02 emissions of about 20 million pounds a year.

• A reduction in the use of petroleum-based products.

For Ford customers, that means they’re getting the same comfortable ride in a more environmentally friendly vehicle.

Of course, Ford’s pioneering of soy beans in its vehicles goes back even further than this recent work in the lab. As far back as the 1940s, company founder Henry Ford was working on developing biomaterials for his vehicles, including the Ford hemp car.

Lightening the load with magnesium

Using soy foams is not the only way Ford is helping the environment. We’re also making our vehicles lighter so they consume less fuel.

We think our vehicles look pretty good, but it never hurts to shed a few pounds. And while our vehicles are getting lighter, they’re still Built Ford Tough. That’s because we’re replacing steel parts with ones made from magnesium and aluminum, significantly reducing the weight, without changing our high standards.

Check out the videos below to see how the team at Ford’s Research and Innovation Center is making this happen.


Now that you know how Ford is helping the environment, let us know some steps you are taking to live green. Share your stories in the comments section below.