Ford Motor Company has redesigned the Ford Explorer with more recyclable and renewable materials and increased efficiency. Setting a new benchmark in automotive sustainability, the 2011 model is 85 percent recyclable and uses 25 percent recycled fiber in the interior and recycled steel in select exterior parts. It also uses the automaker’s new bio foam in the seat cushions and seatbacks.
By using recycled fiber instead of virgin fiber in the Explorer’s seating materials, Ford estimates that it reduces energy consumption by 20 percent, eliminates waste by 17 percent, and cuts CO2 emissions by 14 percent.
The Explorer is the latest Ford vehicle to feature 40 percent soy polyurethane foam in seat cushions and seatbacks. The automaker still plans to use the bio-based material in nearly 100 percent of its North American vehicle lineup by the end of the year.
Other vehicles already made with sustainable materials include the Ford Taurus, Ford Mustang, F-150, Focus, Flex, Escape, Expedition and Econoline as well as Mercury Mariner, Lincoln MKS and Navigator.
Soy foam has helped Ford reduce its annual petroleum oil use by more than 10,500 barrels, and decrease CO2 emissions by 11 million pounds. The material also is up to 24 percent more renewable than petroleum-based foam, says Ford.
The automaker says it is reducing its use of virgin steel by an estimated 119 tons a year by making Explorer’s noise-dampening fender baffles from the steel left over from stamping out the door openings of the F-150 body sides. It also cuts CO2 emissions by about 119 tons.
The design also uses Ford’s latest powertrains and mechanical enhancements to achieve fuel economy improvements of more than 30 percent.
The new Explorer sports two new fuel-efficient engines — a V6 and a turbocharged, direct-injection 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. The EcoBoost engine delivers more than 30 percent better fuel economy than the current V6-powered Explorer, without sacrificing capability and performance, says Ford.