Thursday, September 01, 2005

What is Ford going to do about fuel economy ?

Ford Fiesta ST with 150 hp and gets 40 mpg
A Diesel version of the Mondeo is available in Europe, could it work here?
Eperimental Hydrogen powered bus. Ford's working on the technology, but will it be soon enough?
The new Focus, a better car than we get here, and available with a Diesel.
The Diesel in the Ranger/Courier could be a great deal here and would be a smart idea for the Explorer.

I've read many times how Ford is consistently the least fuel efficient car maker in the US. Now with gas soaring past $3 per gallon on it's way to $4, I'm wondering what Ford can do to reverse the trend. Trucks and SUVs are a big part of Ford's business and I know from reading different websites that they've been working on a new Diesel engine for F Series trucks and SUVs, that's great, it can't happen soon enough. Diesels are a win-win situation for these vehicles. But what about the rest of the lineup.

The Escape Hybrid and now it's Mariner twin are great beginings, and rumors of an upcoming Fusion Hybrid are some comfort. Ford's smallest car in the US is the Focus, and while not a gas guzzler, not comparable to some of it's competition. In Europe Ford sells a Diesel version of the Focus ( another reason to have the all new Focus) as well as Diesel Mondeo and Fiesta models.
All over the globe Ford sells Diesel Ranger/Courier mid size trucks. I've asked before why there is no Diesel version in the US. That same Diesel should fit and be adequate for the Explorer.

Hybrid versions of the FiveHundred and FreeStyle would be nice too. But Diesels make more sense. Remember the Diesel Tempos, Escort and Rangers of the 80's ? Diesels have a bad reputation for being slow, noisey and smelly. Well that was the past, now with new technology and improvements in turbocharging, Diesels are powerful as well as effecient. I checked the Ford UK site and the Fiesta Diesel model gets 70 mpg highway. Even the gas version of the Fiesta gets 40 mpg highway.

Hydrogen is a real shining star for the future, but is not going to happen soon enough. New cleaner burning Diesels combined with Bio Diesel would ease or dependance on foreign oil.
With the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, we are seeing how volatile the situation is. Gas prices have risen $.40 per gallon overnight.

I dream of Hydrogen burning Mustangs with 450 hp and water vapor for exhaust, but would settle for a Diesel Ranger Crew Cab. I've said it before, Ford has the resources, if they decide to pull it together.


Anonymous said...

No can do on the diesel for light vehicles. The California ARB and the EPA have stringent emissions standards that diesels can't easily meet. Once the catalysts andother expensive emissions control systems (urea injection, etc.) are added, diesel engines are not worth the money in saved gas, like hybrids.

Big Ford Fan said...

I was led to believe that it had in some part to do with the quality of the Diesel fuel we sell here in the US. If we forced the introdcution of "low sulfur" fuel, emissions could be met.

I work with boilers that burn #2 fuel oil, which is essentially Diesel fuel and know that the government is concerned with emissions from our plant. Low sulfur diesel fuel and new direct injection technology as well as urea injection can help reduce emmissions. What about Bio Diesel ? While I know the argument against Ethanol replacing Gasoline, is one of lower power and cost to produce, I've seen articles, websites and television programs that state there is no practicle difference for power between regular Diesel and Bio Diesel. How much corn goes to wast each year? How come Mercedes and VW are able to bring back Diesels after their absence?

Hybrids have an issue that nobody talks about much. The batteries. What about their diposal? What about a fire when the car is in an accident. I like Hybrids, but they aren't the full answer. Diesels have their place in the future product mix. especially if we want to reduce reliance on foreign oil.