Not everything inside the latest Ford vehicles is exactly as you might expect. Ford engineers are continuously researching and evaluating different ways to make better cars, trucks and utilities – from advanced in-vehicle technology to innovative and more sustainable materials inside your ride!
You may not realize it, but sustainable byproducts from soybeans, wheat straw, rice, bamboo, tomato, and even agave, are either used in Ford vehicles today or are being tested for use in the future.
So, what makes these ingredients sustainable? First, they have to meet Ford’s strict performance and durability specifications before they are used in production. Once in production, parts made from sustainable biomaterials can have a number of positive impacts, including:
- Reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions;
- Reduced vehicle weight, resulting in improved fuel efficiency and lower vehicle emissions;
- Reduced use of petroleum;
- Creation of new markets for agricultural products and additional revenue streams for farmers;
- Reduced manufacturing energy requirements; and/or
- Using byproducts that would otherwise be landfilled or burned.
For instance, last year Ford announced a partnership with Jose Cuervo to determine the feasibility of giving agave byproduct a second life.
Once the plants are processed for tequila production, the remnant fibres represent an opportunity to create something positive, sustainable bio-plastics, from what might otherwise go unused and ignored.
While many materials are still being tested for potential use in the future, others have already passed all of the tests and are in your Ford vehicle today. Soy-based foams are in cushion seats and head restraints of Ford vehicles produced across North America, while the Canadian-built Ford Flex features storage bins made from wheat-straw-reinforced bio-plastic.
What will be the next sustainable biomaterial in your Ford? Hit us with your suggestions in comments below or on Ford Canada’s Facebook page!