2013 Ford Escape Goes Green, Literally

KenafPlant_media
The eco-friendly gimmick war continues to rage on. On the heels of Chevrolet unveiling eco-impact labels on its new vehicles, Ford has announced that its new-for-2013 Escape will be made with plant material.

Ford is replacing some of the materials in the Escape's doors with kenaf, a tropical plant related to cotton and okra. Kenaf is edible and looks like bamboo; it's currently used in making cosmetics and paper products.

Ford says using the plant improves the vehicle's fuel economy because it reduces the weight of the door bolsters by 25%. Its fuel economy gains weren't specified, however. The automaker says kenaf will help save oil in other ways, too. Because the plant replaces oil-based materials previously used in Escape’s doors, "the use of kenaf is anticipated to offset 300,000 pounds of oil-based resin per year in North America," Ford said in a press release.

When the redesigned compact SUV goes on sale this spring, kenaf will join Escape's soy foam seats and head restraints, recycled-tire climate gauges and carpet made from plastic bottles. 

Ford's Escape certainly isn't the first green vehicle. Land Rover's new-for-2012 Range Rover Evoque, for example, is made with 35.2 pounds of recycled plastic, or about 1,000 16.9-ounce plastic bottles.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 27, 2012 | Comments (11)

Comments 

Amuro Ray

Now this is WAY better than slapping a sticker.

The only concern I can think of now - is the Escape kinda a outdoor vehicle, esp when it nameplate depicts so?

Bear invested states / provinces be warned. DON'T BUY the Escape to drive to the countryside...

In fact, owners in cities may see paint damage caused by scratch mark that resembles the shape of raccoons!

cody

yes, clearly this is WAY BETTER than putting a sticker on a vehicle that uses half as much fuel...

Amuro Ray

@ Cody,

Right, because that same fuel mileage wouldn't have changed with or without the sticker, you see...

Kevin

What goes around comes around. Back in the 30's Henry Ford built an entire car using soybean products. The public ignored it.

LC

You are all missing the point here. Why would Ford choose this material over others? Because it is edible! When the zombie apocalypse comes, we'll be able to eat our cars! Zombies don't eat plants.

Ford has seen the beginnings of the zombie apocalypse, and wants to make sure its customers are the only ones to survive. It is their new plan for a return to market dominance!

maggie

Neighbor has Honda mini-van. Something keeps eating the wiring. Dealer said part of cable wrappings are made from plant material. Turns out the chipmunks are eating the wire wrapping. Not sure of the veracity of the claim but worth considering when choosing to make parts out of edible material. It gets et!

Amuro Ray

And may I refer y'all to Chilly the Rat and its favorite food...

http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2011/02/carscom-chevy-volt-rodent-redux.html

Door parts to improve economy? C'mon Ford. Get serious. Get competitive with foreign technologies. Improve your batteries. Improve burning efficiency. Take the tough, serious road; your customers will support you.

Hate to bring this up but how about safety? Like side-impact tests.

How many know that impact tests have different classes of cars, big cars, little cars. Those tiny cars take a beating against bigger ones.

CG

Chipmunks just ate the insulation out of my 2013 Focus. Now I know why.

Others

This is very good. Bio plastics taking the place of Petro plastics. So basically they are using renewable materials.

Good job Ford.

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