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Improving Fuel Economy

We use a variety of approaches to improve the fuel economy of our gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles, guided by our Sustainable Technologies and Alternative Fuels Plan. Improving fuel economy goes hand-in-hand with our work on electrification.

Advances in Engine and Transmission Technologies

Gasoline Engines

Thanks to turbocharging and direct fuel injection, our range of EcoBoost® engines are the standard bearers of our efforts to deliver significant fuel-efficiency gains and reduced CO2 emissions in gasoline-powered vehicles. This award-winning fuel-saving technology has been used in 8 million engines worldwide.

We are investigating and developing new technologies to improve performance, fuel economy and emissions for multiple powertrain options, such as advanced boosting, reduced friction, and advanced fuel injection and ignition. We also continue to assess the role of low-carbon renewable fuels on CO2 reduction and how they may influence future designs.

Additionally, as electrification/hybridization expands to a broader spectrum of segments and markets, we are further developing engines optimized for the various hybrid powertrain configurations and customer requirements.

Reflecting some of the progress we’ve made in gasoline engine production, the 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline direct injection engine with Auto Start-Stop in the 2018 Transit Connect Cargo Van is E85-compatible and connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Advanced Transmissions and Drivelines

Along with our new EcoBoost® engines, the 10-speed automatic transmission used in our new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator improves powertrain efficiency and vehicle performance/drivability. Ideal for hauling heavy payloads and towing trailers, we first incorporated it into the 2017 F-150 4x2 and 4x4 models.

We continue to develop our front- and rear-wheel-drive transmissions to increase efficiency and improve vehicle performance while enabling quick, smooth shifts. We are also developing driveline technologies to reduce parasitic losses while enhancing function and drivability, including low-friction all-wheel-drive systems.

Diesel Engines

Diesel engines continue to be a popular option in specific markets and segments, due to their excellent drivability, CO2 emissions and fuel consumption characteristics, especially under heavy load operation. Modern diesel engines can achieve 20-30 percent better fuel economy than comparable gasoline engines. They also emit 10-20 percent less CO2 on a well-to-wheels (WTW) basis.

In North America, for example, we’re offering two new advanced diesel engines: the 1.5-liter EcoBlue® engine in our 2019 Transit Connect and the 3.0-liter Power Stroke - the first diesel engine for an F-150. Both of these demonstrate the fuel efficiency and power performance that progressive diesel engines can provide.

As our plans develop further, we are maintaining a special focus on sustainable fuels, and already our advanced diesel engines are compatible with biodiesel.

 Case Study

Improving Air Quality Through European Scrappage Scheme

In August 2017, we launched a car and van scrappage scheme aimed at reducing vehicle emissions and improving air quality in several European markets, including the U.K. and Germany. It enables owners to trade in their old vehicles for new, affordable Ford cars and commercial vehicles with EcoBoost petrol and EcoBlue diesel models; these meet the Euro 6 standard, the toughest vehicle emissions yet.

We then extended the scheme into the first quarter of 2018, which has now seen more than 10,500 vehicles scrapped and replaced with cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

We’ve scrapped more than 10,500 vehicles and replaced them with cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Reducing Vehicle Weight

We are adopting advanced lightweight materials to help reduce fuel consumption wherever practicable. For example, when we switched to an aluminum body on the 2015 F-150, we were looking to lead the way toward making aluminum the industry standard for automakers.

We put our largest vehicles on a strict diet, and aluminum was the right choice: the switch helped the F-150 drop almost 700 pounds! According to an annual life cycle study by the Automotive Science Group, the F-150 leads the full-size light-duty truck competition in all environmental and economic performance areas. This significant weight reduction led to improved fuel economy and provided increased payload and towing capability, which are important attributes for the truck customer.

The F-series logged its 41st consecutive year as the nation’s best-selling pickup in 2017, and will be the first full-size pickup to crack the 30-mpg barrier with a diesel engine.

Building on this success, we also reduced vehicle body weight by 200 pounds on the 2018 Lincoln Navigator, 300 pounds on the 2018 Ford Expedition and 350 pounds on the 2017 Ford Super Duty by switching to aluminum. We will maintain this fresh approach to materials in new vehicles as we continue to drive innovation and improve mobility.

Aluminum for us is about more than weight: it handles better, brakes faster, hauls more, tows more. We were able to put that weight savings into more capability for the customer. We thought it was the perfect material for what customers do with their vehicles.”

Brian Bell,Marketing Manager, Ford Motor Company