FORD SHOWCASES ECO-FRIENDLY VEHICLES AT UH


Ford’s ‘Power of Choice Tour’ stopped by UH to show off its eco-friendly vehicles on Tuesday, October 25 at the UC. UH has been nationally recognized for its sustainability efforts making it a smart choice to showcase Ford’s eco-friendly options.

“Houston is an important market for us, especially for our trucks. We wanted to bring the Power of Choice message here to let people know that we’re not just about trucks, we have many great eco-friendly products to offer,” said Carrie Majeske, manager of product sustainability for Ford. “The young population here is a big opportunity for Ford and it is good to see a sustainability mindset.”

Ford representatives treated media and members of the UH community to breakfast and gave a presentation in the UC Big Bend room followed by a Q&A session and test drive opportunities. Participants were invited to sign up for a drive and check out the fleet of vehicles that have been designed with the environment in mind.

Around the UC circle were Ford models including the Transit Connect Electric, Focus Electric, Fiesta, Fusion Hybrid, along with an F150, Edge and Explorer containing EcoBoost engines.

The Ford Electric is the company’s first all-electric, zero-emissions vehicle that is scheduled to be available in late 2011. The model is powered by a 23 kwh high-voltage lithium-ion battery system that is designed to reduce energy loss and your carbon footprint. This vehicle can travel up to 100 miles on a fully-charged battery and would be best suited for commuters making short trips around the city. Ford has partnered with Best Buy and the Geek Squad for the home installations of the charging stations (240-volt or 120-volt). The Transit Connect Electric is its fully-electric utility van that is now available for purchase. This model also has a lithium ion battery which can travel a range of 50-80 miles.

As gas prices have gotten higher, many consumers and UH students on a budget have fuel efficiency in mind. Ford also brought along some of its fuel-efficient models such as the Fiesta, which gets 40 miles per gallon on the highway, and the Fusion Hybrid. The Fusion Hybrid gets its power from a combination of a combustion engine and smaller battery. It can run in electric mode up to 40 mph and then will switch to gas as the vehicle travels at higher speeds. Ford reports that this model is 70 percent better for fuel economy than regular gas-powered vehicles.

Majeske reported that 40 percent of F150 trucks sold now have EcoBoost engines, which means the vehicle gets up to 20 percent better fuel economy and emits 15 percent less carbon dioxide into the environment. This new engine uses a gasoline direct injection that allows for lower emissions and better efficiency.

For more information on Ford’s eco-friendly vehicles, visit http://www.ford.com. For more green commuting options on campus, visit http://www.uh.edu/pts/greencommute.htm.