Cork, 14 September 2007
As Ford announces a range of popular Ford cars in ultra-low emission versions, known as ‘ECOnetic’, the head of Ford Ireland has raised concerns over the uncertainty surrounding the introduction of emissions-based taxation in the next Budget.
Amidst these concerns, and in a first for the automotive industry, Ford has published a ground-breaking Product Sustainability Index (PSI), which assesses how the environmental, social and economic impact of vehicles can be addressed from the earliest stages of their development.
With more and more customers seeing low emissions as a key ‘why-buy?’, the ECOnetic models, starting with Focus, will boast a combination of diesel powertrains with other energy saving features. “These are precisely the type of models which should benefit from taxation based on emissions,” explains Eddie Murphy, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland. “The Government flagged such a system last year, but nine months later the entire industry is still in the dark on it. The sales impact of special low emission models like ECOnetic will depend on favourable tax treatment, but we can’t plan volumes in the absence of details from Government.”
Using the latest common rail diesel, the Focus ECOnetic will deliver best-in-class CO2 emissions for conventional technology at just 115g/km. Available early in 2008, the car’s 1.6 litre Duratorq TDCi engine contains a standard diesel particulate filter, and delivers average fuel consumption of just 4.3l/100km. The car also embraces a clever combination of individual fuel-saving features. Drive resistance is reduced and aerodynamics improved by lowering the car and adding an aerodynamics kit. New low-viscosity transmission oil from BP furthered decreases driving resistance. The oil is to be introduced across other Ford models in the compact and larger family classes.
Ford's Product Sustainability Index (PSI) tracks eight product attributes identified as key sustainability elements of a vehicle. These are:
- Life cycle global warming potential (mainly carbon dioxide emissions)
- Life cycle air quality potential (other air emissions)
- Use of sustainable materials (recycled and renewable materials)
- Substance management (including TÜV allergy-tested interior certification)
- Exterior noise impact (drive-by noise)
- Safety (for occupants and pedestrians)
- Mobility capability (seat and luggage capacity relative to vehicle size)
- Life cycle ownership costs (full costs for the customer over the first three years).
All three models designed to date with PSI in mind - the all-new Ford Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy - deliver improved sustainability performance in environmental, social and economic impact, when compared to the previous models. For instance, more recycled and renewable materials have been used in these three models. At the same time as safety performance has been improved, these vehicles' life cycle air emissions and life cycle cost of ownership have been reduced.
" The scale of the challenge means that it’s not enough to introduce two or three new environmental products and leave it at that. Ford of Europe's PSI demonstrates how sustainability can be integrated into mainstream product development to the benefit of our customers and the environment.," said John Fleming, president and CEO, Ford of Europe.