Friday 13 June 2008

Ford F-150 and large SUV's clean up their act (U.S)

Ford is working to get clean-diesel versions of its popular F-150 pick-up and large SUVs into the lineup said Mark Fields.

Fields was short on information but he said "We're planning clean diesels for the F-150 and our large SUVs" in remarks at "Plug-in Electric Vehicles 2008: What Role for Washington?". Ford also showed a plug-in version of the Escape Hybrid with E85 flex-fuel capability.

Ford reportedly is developing its own 330bhp 4.4 litre turbo-diesel V8 for the F-Aeries and Expedition, but it's not expected to be available until 2010 or 2011 model year.

Fields emphasised that government must play a role in developing new technologies to lessen dependence on foreign oil. "Based on the necessary research and development costs, manufacturing and production investments, the lack of a national refueling infrastructure and the lack of domestic battery manufacturing, it seems clear that a business case will not evolve, in the near term, without support from Washington," he said.

"The governments of Japan, China, Korea and India are significantly funding the research development and deployment of plug-in hybrid vehicle technologies," Fields noted. "This is a race we must win. We should not trade one foreign energy dependency for another".

Fields also confirmed that Ford's EcoBoost, its high-volume, turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine family, will "migrate across the lineup so that, by 2013, we'll build up to half a million vehicles annually with EcoBoost." He said the Lincoln MKS will get EcoBoost in 2009, "followed quickly by the new Ford Flex and F-150."

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