Ford Shows Trio of Clean Cars

Ford vehichles seen as helping create a "better world."

Published: 04-Jan-2003

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 2, 2003 – Ford Motor Company today reaffirmed its pledge to bring to market products that help create a “better world,” including the all-new Ford Escape Hybrid and Ford Focus PZEV (partial zero emission vehicle) – both of which will be on the road in California during 2003. The Focus FCV is already on the road in California with potential key customers.

“Ford celebrates its Centennial this year. In terms of economic and social influence, there aren’t many other companies with a greater impact on the lives of people around the world in the 20th century than Ford,” said Cisco Codina, Ford Division general marketing manager, during a press conference at the 2003 Greater Los Angeles Auto Show.

“Ford literally put the world on wheels by mass-producing simple, reliable vehicles that the average family could afford. Our goal is to build on these traditional strengths and redefine them for the 21st century,” Codina continued. “In short, our vision for the future is simple: We’re going to build great products, a strong business and a better world.”

Part of the vision for a better world, Codina said, is for Ford to remain a leader in environmental vehicles. Ford was the first manufacturer to announce plans for a hybrid electric-powered SUV – the Ford Escape Hybrid – the company was the first to announce its production prototype fuel cell vehicle – the Focus FCV – and the company led the industry in voluntarily pledging to make all of its vehicles cleaner and safer, often well in advance of legislative requirements.

Ford’s environmental leadership continues in 2003 as the all-new Escape Hybrid and Focus PZEV vehicles go on the road.

Escape Hybrid

When it goes into production in late 2003, the Escape Hybrid not only will be the most fuel-efficient SUV on the market, it will also be the most practical hybrid vehicle ever built.

The Escape Hybrid will deliver between 35 and 40 miles per gallon (less than 6L/100km) in city driving, while achieving certification under California’s Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) and Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) emissions standards. It also will meet Stage IV emissions rules in Europe before they take effect in 2004.

Its innovative hybrid electric powertrain also will be used for future Ford Motor Company vehicles.

The Escape Hybrid is designed to provide the same acceleration and functionality as its 200-horsepower V-6 cousin, using a combination of a fuel-efficient Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor. Overall fuel economy is nearly double that of the V-6 Escape.

In traditional vehicles, energy used to accelerate the car is lost as heat when the driver applies the brakes. The Escape Hybrid is engineered to recover a substantial portion of what would otherwise be “lost energy” and store it temporarily for use while accelerating again. The vehicle’s advanced braking technology is the subject of 51 patent disclosures.

Ford Focus PZEV

The 2003 Ford Focus PZEV (partial zero emissions vehicle), introduced at the 2003 Los Angeles Auto Show, is a rare find. It meets California’s stringent partial zero emissions standard without requiring performance, fun-to-drive or economical sacrifices on the part of its owners.

The Focus PZEV is powered by an all-new 2.3-liter I-4 engine, generating 148 horsepower and 152 foot-pounds of torque. This PZEV powertrain will become the standard engine powering all California, New York, Vermont and Massachusetts Focus models beginning later in the first quarter.

In 2004, the all-new 2.3-liter I-4 engine will be introduced in all non-SVT Ford Focus models in the U.S.

“The new Focus PZEV is a technological breakthrough that delivers real-world environmental benefits without a single compromise for its owners,” says Dave Szczupak, Ford Motor Company vice president, Powertrain Operations. “This super-efficient engine meets California’s stringent partial zero emissions standard while delivering lively performance from a larger-displacement powertrain with enhanced torque.”

Fuel-cell vehicles

Ford is advancing the practical application of fuel cell technology with its zero-emissions Ford Focus FCV – the company’s most advanced environmental vehicle ever – which combines the latest hybrid electric vehicle technology and leading edge fuel cell development with the world’s top-selling passenger car.

The Focus FCV is the motor industry’s first “hybridized fuel cell vehicle,” bringing together the improved range and performance of hybrid technology with the overall benefits of a fuel cell. In 2002, the first 15 Focus FCVs were produced.

Five of the cars are in a collaborative developmental stage with key potential government and private customers. The work enables Ford to receive real-time feedback on production-intent models. The remaining 10 vehicles are going through Ford's standard internal testing programs, including crash and emissions testing. Production of the Focus FCV will continue in 2003 and 2004.

During its test program, the Focus FCV is expected to demonstrate a 160-200 mile (250-320 kms) operating range – a significant improvement on previous fuel cell vehicles (which typically achieved a maximum range of 100 miles or less).

The Focus FCV’s performance levels compare with a more conventional saloon and its top speed is governed at 80 mph.

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