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FORD goes Green

By Oz_Media ·
Well with ll the recent hype over gas prices (FINALLY DROPPING!) and better vehicle that are more efficient, FORD has introduced it's first fully hybrid SUV.

This vehicle is not only a hybrid in that it uses an electric engine and has the main gas engine start and stop as required, it has a more efficient design as I mentioned European cars have now been required to have by Euro government demands.

the braking system actually distributes wasted fuel energy that is made friction and heat by using this normally wasted energy to charge the electric motor.
It also incorprate Atkinson technology to increase the mileage per gallon of fuel, which was said to be impossible without changing the basic engine design.

More on this wonderful addition to FORD's lineup here:

I guess it's going to make all the other manufacturers step up to the plate and offer similar vehicles, hybrids are now going to be a competitive market, as they improve each model to compete over the next few years they will cost less and get beter mileage and becoem mroe efficient and fuel friendly.

It's a start with a LONG future.

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Social inertia

by gbrownlee In reply to FORD goes Green

That is the biggest hurdle to be faced. Thirty years ago, the Canadian government launched a campaign to educate its citizens as to the dangers we will face if we continue to use once and discard etc.

The Motto: When it comes to conservation of natural resources and pollution, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem!

Their evidence? Remember when the Scandanavian lake had to have lye added to them because acid rain had lower the water ph so low that all life died.

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Ford and hybrids

by JamesRL In reply to FORD goes Green

Thanks for letting me talk about an industry I know.....

The first "commercial" hybrids were the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius. The Insight is a small 2 seater which is designed in all ways to be a fuel saver.

The Prius is designed to be a hybrid which can carry 4 adults - the first one was about the interior size of a Corolla and the next generation(this years model) is larger. Good to note that the Prius has been on the market 2 years already and seems to be as reliable as any other Toyota - there was one used as a Cab in Vancouver which got up to 300,000 KM of stop and go driving. Toyota then bought it to tear apart for research.

The Ford Escape uses the same engine as its 4 cylinder variant(not a big seller in North America, not even sure if it was offered in US), plus the electrical assist.

Honda has also come out with a Civic Hybrid, which uses a standard engine, with electrical assist. Its considered a mild hybrid - not able to run on electrical alone, which the Ford and Toyota will do.

All of them use regenerative braking to create electricity to power electric motors for an assist. The ironic thing is that they generate more electricity in stop and start traffic, and so get better mileage in the city than the highway.

The challenge is that the business case is pretty tough. It would take quite a few years to pay back the additional cost of the technology with savings in gas costs(In Canadian dollars a Corolla is about $20,000 and a Prius is $30,000).

But I agree its worth doing, and I would be inclined if I had the money to buy one just because it pollutes less and saves gas.

The funky thing about the Ford is that they are putting great technology into a vehicle which because its a truck, with high wind resistance and an inefficient 4 wheel drive drivetrain, will not great nearly the same efficiencies as putting the same combo into say a Taurus. But thats a marketing decision


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I used to work for Ford

by Oz_Media In reply to Ford and hybrids

I have been a licenced Air Care certified mechanc for years now and it's about time a MAJOR player had a viable solution. As I've said before, European governments demanded that manufacturers built more efficient gas engines (without going hybrid, just more efficient fuel burn), they did. We still buy the cheapo crap in North America though but that seems to be changing.

As Ford has always lead the full size truck market, the idea to bring a much asked for and totally trendy solution into the SUV market is just plain clever marketing. This is their hardest selling line of vehicles that other manufacturers only hope to oursell one day. Since the early 40's FORD trucks have outsold ANY rivals and this is just a fantastic way to hit a market and push the rest to keep up.

As for the Prius, I have seen and ALMOST rented one in Vancouver, until I saw it break down daily while Toyota was testing it on the Island. The SAME little car was stopped on the highway about 30" ahead of where it had died the day before for over two weeks before they pulled the plug. As a member of the SAE, I have seen the latest newsletters outlining the issues Toymotor is having with the other models they are testing also. So far all the road reports and stats I've seen from FORD, as well as a couple of calls I made today to Ford dealer friends and mechanics, the new Ford is gonna be the Paradigm for now. Will others catch up or simply chase it as they have done for the last 60 yeras?

It's just a great thing to see in production, and really makes the world start to look better. No more pipe dreams, it' here and being marketed by the largest selling and most popular truck manufacturer in history, WELL DONE BOYS!!

Gotta love it, eh James?

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For the record

by Cactus Pete In reply to I used to work for Ford

Toyota licensed the technology to Ford for them to make thier own hybrid autos. Toyota won't be making anything but money there - Ford will do the work with Toyota's ideas.

As for the Prius - you shouldn't make a judgement on the entire line just because of one car you saw. Especially if they were still testing the thing. It was likely a beta firmware version they were going after, and we all know about betas.

My 2004 Prius has averaged about 53 MPG since it was purchased. I'm told this tends to get a little better after the breaking-in period. With cruise control on, doing 75 on the tollway, I was getting about 60 MPG - far better than the EPA estimates (and a rarity, maybe I got a really good one).

And it sure makes up for my 1982 Jaguar XJS.

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TO be picky

by Oz_Media In reply to For the record

Ford built upon Toymotor theories, they have a completely different design to the hybrid systems though.
"Ford Motor Company designed, developed and validated its own hybrid powertrain system In fact, Ford expects more than 100 patents to be issued covering this unique Ford hybrid system. "

So whle the basic concepts are the same, just as most cars have internal combustion (or morespecifically Piston engines), they are still unique based on manufacturer development. I am positive, as I am sure you are too, that these engines will soon be replced with more advanced technology once the trend catches on and other manufacturers increase R&amp spending to compete.

ON a whole I have heard mixed feeling about the Prius, the most common agrement is the mileage, the most common argument is stability. While one shop I dealwith says they have had nothing but problems with it, the other says they hardly see issues. Note:The second shop isn't facoured for repairs, too many apprentices and high hourly rates. (much of their lost work comes my way, alothough I am sure I won't be seeing a Prius for another years in my shop.

The XJS, keep it, not that you would consider selling it, but I have seen people do worse. I almost sold my '78 a few yeas back to pick up a Lotus (ONLY $42,000.00!) from a friend but jammed out, it was just a status thing at the time, so I gutted it instead and stripped it to the frame for resto as time permits. One day when I'm old and snotty I'll pick up my Rolls (yeah right!).

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I'll be buying one someday...

by admin In reply to FORD goes Green

Any good used Toyota's coming up for sale around 2006?

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Still problematic

by Oz_Media In reply to I'll be buying one someda ...

Toynotors still have a long way to go but they are definitely on the right track. It is so much harder to build in a cheap and light car though.

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