EVWorld.Com Interview Reveals Ford's Quest for the World's Cleanest Diesel

Exclusive interview with top Mercury Meta One program managers highlights the progress made and challenges remaining in the development of the world's first PZEV-rated diesel hybrid-electric drivetrain.

Published: 17-Jan-2005

The Mercury Meta One Concept car, now being showcased at the 2005 North American International Auto Show, is, like many concept vehicles, a work-in-progress, but one with high aspirations, as EV World's editor-in-chief learned during his exclusive interview with three key project engineers.

According to Mercury Meta One program manager, David Wagner, Ford sees the power plant under the hood --  and in the rear  -- as the bridge between today's internal combustion engine and the hydrogen fuel cell cars of tomorrow.  He noted that several studies suggest that very clean diesels in combination with hybrid-electric drives can be nearly as energy efficient as today's current crop of experimental fuel cell vehicles.

The Meta One concept vehicle incorporates a number of advanced engine technologies including a newly developed V6 diesel, a hybrid-electric drive system and state-of-the-arts emission controls, including aqueous urea injection, just now making its appearance on some truck engines in Europe. 

The goal of the program is to achieve a minimum reduction in emissions of at least ninety percent, and work is ongoing at Ford labs to achieve what is the gasoline-equivalent of a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle or PZEV rating in California.  While there are a number of PZEV gasoline cars on the market, there are no comparable diesel vehicles. Ford aims to be the first, though it may be in the next decade before a car like the Meta One arrives in the showroom.

EV World was granted exclusive access to Wagner, Jim Baker and Zafar Shaikh, the top engineering managers for the year-long project.  The entire 38-minute interview is available to EV World subscribers in both text and MP3 audio format.

EV World (http://www.evworld.com) is the Internet's leading commercial web portal to information about advanced vehicle technologies and related issues from renewable energy to governmental policy. Its database currently archives more than 7,200 news story abstracts and press releases relevant to sustainable mobility technology. It also provides RSS feeds and streaming MP3 audio, plus a number of electric vehicle user forums and the Internet's only "Real Time, Real World" hybrid vehicle gas mileage chart.

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