Ford brings new solutions to help fleet customers manage costs

By Ford Motor Co. | March 29, 2012

Ford's expanding lineup of fuel-efficient engines and alternative-fuel technologies—including EcoBoost, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric, B20 biodiesel and CNG/LPG—leads the industry in reducing emissions and operating costs for rental, government and commercial fleet customers.

In addition to Ford's award-winning, fuel-efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, the U.S.-built Ford Transit cargo and passenger vans also will feature a new diesel engine option when production starts in 2013.

The new Transit vans will achieve at least 25 percent better fuel economy compared to similar E-Series vans, thanks to advanced powertrains and smart weight savings.

Ford fleet experts have developed a new tool designed to give customers a clear picture of annual fuel costs and fleet emissions based on location, fuel source and vehicle application.

Ford's industry-leading lineup of fuel-efficient engines and alternative-fuel technologies for fleet customers will further expand next year when the all-new Ford Transit commercial van comes to market with a new clean diesel and EcoBoost V6 engine. The new Transit will achieve at least 25 percent better fuel economy than current E-Series vans.

"With fleet operators facing skyrocketing fuel prices and constant pressure to reduce costs, Ford continues to expand its range," said Kevin Koswick, director, North American Fleet, Lease and Remarketing Operations for Ford. "By offering multiple options to help solve these challenges, Ford is giving fleet customers true power of choice in finding solutions that best meet their specific needs."

Speaking to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, Koswick said Ford is committed to continuing to provide customers a range of options to reduce their operating costs through a lineup of industry-leading fuel-efficient engines and alternative-fuel technologies, including EcoBoost, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric, biodiesel and CNG/LPG.

To meet diverse needs in the full-size van segment, Ford has confirmed it will offer an all-new North American diesel engine option for the new Ford Transit cargo and passenger vans when production starts in Kansas City in 2013. This will be in addition to the fuel-efficient, powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 gasoline engine that is already winning raves from Ford F-150 customers.

The return of a diesel engine option to Ford's full-size van lineup answers customers' calls for more choice when seeking a van with superior fuel economy and balanced capability.

In addition, EcoBoost technology is fundamental to the Ford strategy of providing technologically advanced, high-output, smaller-displacement gasoline powertrains that deliver exceptional fuel economy and uncompromised performance.

Overall, the new Transit will achieve at least 25 percent better fuel economy compared to similar E-Series vans, due to its advanced gas and diesel powertrains and smart weight savings that will trim at least 300 pounds. That means commercial and retail customers could save potentially thousands of dollars in operating costs from fuel savings alone.

In addition to the new Transit, certain E-Series body styles will continue to be available through most of the decade in North America, even after the U.S.-built Transit goes on sale.

Beyond providing fleet customers with a range of fuel-efficient engine choices for vans and other vehicles, Ford also has developed a specialized new tool to help optimize fleet purchases based on specific fuel types and operating locations.

Called the Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Cost Calculator, the new tool is designed to help fleet customers understand their current carbon footprint and to model various scenarios based on the types of vehicles they choose for their fleets. The tool incorporates important information to evaluate fuel costs and emissions, providing a unique opportunity for fleet managers to quickly evaluate multiple options.

The Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Cost Calculator utilizes such information as vehicle type, fuel type and traffic conditions (stop-and-go city traffic or on the highway, for instance), along with the geographic region in which the car will be used to generate information about the efficiency of a fleet.

The proprietary program, which must be used in conjunction with the support of a Ford representative, will create customized scenarios for customers by using special formulas and variables to determine the environmental impact and fuel costs of specific vehicles.

"This tool will help our customers make the most informed purchase decision possible - one that will meet their business needs, help promote energy security and help protect the environment," said Sandy Winkler, senior researcher with Ford Research and Innovation and developer of the tool.

For example, the tool can demonstrate how operating an electric vehicle in Portland, Ore., has different environmental ramifications from operating one in Philadelphia. This is due to hydropower being a common source of electricity in the Pacific Northwest, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, compared with the mostly coal-based electricity used in the East Central region.

Ford has gained major market share in key commercial vehicle segments as the economy rebounds from the industry lows of 2009. In vans, where Ford E-Series has been the best-seller for 32 years, market share grew from 49.8 percent in 2008 to 53.7 percent in 2011, even as new competitors entered the market.

Ford F-Series has been the best-selling truck for 35 years and the best-selling vehicle for 30 years.

The Ford F-150—the most fuel-efficient light-duty pickup truck—is able to tow up to 11,300 pounds with either a traditional 6.2-liter V8 or a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that is rated at up to 22 mpg on the highway. Additionally, the 3.7-liter V6 and 5.0-liter V8 engines are flex fuel-capable.

The entire Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup truck and chassis cab lineup is available with gasoline, diesel, biodiesel B20 and CNG/LPG-dedicated or bi-fuel capability, while Ford F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks can be optioned for gasoline, biodiesel or CNG/LPG operation. In addition to biodiesel and CNG/LPG offerings, the 6.2-liter V8 can also be operated on E85.

E-Series full-size vans and cutaways are available with flex fuel or CNG/LPG gaseous engine prep package fuel systems.



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