Ford Puts Gas Savings on the Front Burner

Last Updated Aug 18, 2008 4:25 PM EDT

Ford Escape HybridFord Motor Co. has accelerated its time table for adopting fuel-saving technologies.

"We need to really accelerate," said John Viera, director, sustainable business strategies, in an Aug. 11 presentation to a group of New York-based auto writers.

Ford originally gave itself until 2020 to achieve what it calls "full implementation of known technology." Based on consumer demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles, Ford has announced slightly lower, interim targets, to be achieved earlier. The net effect is a more ambitious plan.

For instance, Ford says it will offer so-called "EcoBoost" engines as either standard or optional equipment on 90 percent of its lineup by 2013.

EcoBoost uses a combination of direct-injection gasoline technology with turbocharging, to produce a V-6 with the power of a V-8 but the gas mileage of a V-6. The same principle can be applied to a four-cylinder engine.

Switching from a V-8 to an Ecoboost V-6 cuts fuel consumption by about 10 percent, with no loss of power. Switching from a six to an Ecoboost four saves about 20 percent, Viera said.

Also by 2013, Ford says it will offer six-speed automatic transmissions and electric-assisted power steering on 100 percent of the lineup by 2013. Each improvement contributes only a couple of percentage points better gas mileage, but taken together, the improvements are significant, he said.

Popular

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Market Data

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

Market News

Stock Watchlist

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download