Archive for Green Cars

Ford and Toyota Team Up for Fuel Efficiency

Ford and Toyota have each developed a pretty successful hybrid system.  Now, the automakers are coming together to develop an even greater one.  The vehicle manufacturers are teaming up to accelerate the availability of this new advanced hybrid system for light trucks and SUVs.

By working together, the new systems will reach consumers faster and more economically than either company would be able to do alone.  Following the collaboration, the automakers will each integrate the system into their vehicles on their own.

Ford and Toyota will also work together to develop next-generation telematics systems that will make driving more convenient, safer, and more secure.

Both automakers expressed optimism at the prospect of enhancing fuel efficiency and providing customers with the capabilities they want and need by teaming up.

Worlds Fastest F-250 Crewcab

Heavy Hauling and High-Speed Racing:

Hajek Motorsports Breaks 2 Land Speed Records with Ford F-250 Super Duty

WENDOVER, Utah, Aug. 19, 2011 – Ford F-Series is best known for its unparalleled capability and power, but now it’s found a place in the history books.  Hajek Motorsports has broken two land speed records using both a diesel and biodiesel-powered 2011 Ford F-250 Super Duty at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats.  Using a mostly stock truck with the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8, the team achieved a speed of 171.123 mph on regular diesel and 182 mph on B20 biodiesel.

The Ford truck broke the B Production Diesel Truck record of 166.850 mph by a Duramax diesel GMC. This class is normally comprised of race vehicles with extensive aftermarket modifications. The F-250 that Hajek Motorsports ran is something of a rarity as it used extensive production parts to perform at high speeds.

Underscoring that the 2011 Super Duty is the cleanest Power Stroke ever, a land speed record was also set using soy-based biodiesel fuel. The truck broke the biodiesel land speed record of 130.614 mph.

Every 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel can operate on a mixture of diesel up to 20 percent biofuel. This capability is significant for the Hajek Motorsports team given its history and support for sustainable farm-based fuels and desire to prove that speed and performance are not compromised by using fuels like E85 and B20 biodiesel.

“Racing is part of Ford Motor Company’s DNA so it’s only natural for us to build a race vehicle that demonstrates Ford’s leadership in the diesel and biodiesel truck market,” said Brent Hajek, Hajek Motorsports owner. “The F-250 is an excellent truck with amazing capabilities. I’m amazed at how, with very few changes from stock, we were able to accomplish this.”

Hajek, a soybean and corn farmer from Oklahoma, knows a thing or two about Ford F-250s and biodiesel fuel. He owns six for use on his farm, with his 1997 Ford F-250 having accumulated more than 400,000 miles.

“Super Duty has always been the leader in the heavy-duty truck segment,” said Brian Rathsburg, Ford Super Duty marketing manager. “Breaking these records reinforces our leadership position, allows us to raise awareness around the truck’s biodiesel capabilities, and gives us an opportunity to reach out to enthusiasts in a fun and engaging way.”

Ford engineers teamed up with Hajek Motorsports to design and install the modifications to the production-level truck. Changes were made only to the top-end components of the engine including the high-pressure fuel pump, fuel injectors and turbochargers for more fuel flow. The compression ratio was modified as well.

The engineering that went into the base engine provided us with a rock-solid foundation to start from,” said Paul Niessen, powertrain engineer. “And it worked out great since we increased the output of the engine by more than 50 percent over production with just a few changes.”

Work on a chassis dynamometer before the attempt proved the engine was able to adapt to biodiesel fuel and deliver on both horsepower and fuel economy. It also verified the performance of the production transmission and drivetrain.

Components were added for safety purposes, including a full roll cage and five-point harness.

Delivering more
The 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbocharged diesel produces best-in-class 400 horsepower and 800 lb.-ft. of torque with best-in-class fuel economy, further strengthening Super Duty’s best-in-class towing and payload capabilities. The Ford-engineered diesel engine uses inboard exhaust architecture, an automotive-industry first for a modern production diesel engine.

Key features of the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbocharged diesel engine:

  • Compacted graphite iron engine block
  • Aluminum cylinder heads
  • Single-sequential turbocharger with double-sided compressor wheel mounted on a single shaft uniquely center-mounted on the engine block
  • Unique inboard exhaust and outboard intake architecture
  • High-pressure fuel system – new Bosch 29,000-psi common-rail fuel-injection system
  • Standard biodiesel compatibility up to B20

Wow, but how much will it tow at these speeds?

DBacks Meet and Greet

Drop by Sanderson Ford on Friday the 12th, and meet JJ Putz and Ryan Roberts from the Arizona DiamondBacks.  They will be here from noon to 1pm.  We will also be holding a contest for 25 pairs of free game tickets.  You can watch the DiamondBacks beat up on the Mets this weekend.

Ford Reveals Buyer’s Tastes

Ford data reveals   about buyers around the US.  Who would think, looking around, that white was NOT the favorite Ford color in Arizona.  Would you guess Molten Orange?  Gold, silver, and finally, white round out the top colors. 

Seattle and San Francisco must have problems getting lost and parking their cars because they are tops in; BLIS, rear view cameras, active park assist, and navigation. 

You would think us Arizonans would own the air conditioned seat category, but we didn’t even rank in the top 5.  Would you have guessed Seattle, Denver, and San Francisco.  How about heated seats?  Can you believe Atlanta and Charlotte are in the top 5. 

Rainy and cold Seattle is also tops in moon roofs.  I guess better for watching the storm clouds!

Hybrid vehicles are #1 and #2 in Seattle and San Francisco, but Phoenix is #5 on this list.  Thanks 43 mpg with AC Fusion Hybrid.

In Arizona, we prefer diesels, hybrids,and  manual transmissions, but have no preference on gas engine size.

Those areas of the country looking for V-8 power include; Orlando, Memphis, Charlotte, Houston, and Seattle.  The economically minded (4 cylinder) people live in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Detroit, Boston, and Denver. 

Coastal cities like muted colors while the Midwest has an affinity for red.  The east coast is definately green. 

New Yorkers consume the most vehicles with rear seat DVD systems.  Turns out Sponge pants Bob really is an effective babysitter.

The national pick-up truck capital is still shared by Dallas and Houston.  This is also the area with the highest demand for tow packages.  95% of Super Duty customers tow with their trucks. 

Using the data Ford collects allows it to maximize the model mix and deliver vehicles that actually meet customers need regionally.  The imports should try to figure this out.

Of course, if you want an east coast color, with Seattle options, Denver seats, and Texas towing capability, all you need to do is drop by Sanderson Ford.  If we don’t have it, we’ll be happy to order it for you!

Ford F550 Hybrid Chassis Cab Coming

Ford announced this week that they have teemed up with Azure Dynamics to produce the 2013 Hybrid F-550 chassis cab.  It will be available in all engine and chassis length combinations.  They have also agreed to provide the technology for the F-350 and F-450 chassis’. 

Azure Dynamics already provides the power systems on the Transit Connect Electric (available now at Sanderson), and the E-450 Hybrid electric step van and shuttle bus. 

The hybrid chassis will be built as a “ship-thru” option allowing the Ford transportation system to move the vehicles thereby saving on the cost and time of additional transportation logistics. 

It is expected that the chassis cab market could grow by 50% in the next few years as fleet oerators start replacing equipment that was delayed due to the economy.  This gives them a great option to help manage unpredictable fuel costs and clean energy goals. 

Info provided by Ford and Azure Dynamics.

Ford to Extend Use of Fuel-Efficient Tires

Ford is helping consumers combat the rising price of gas by increasing the availability of their low-rolling-resistant tires to more models. The fuel-saving tires can improve fuel economy by up to 2 mpg.

Currently, the fuel-efficient tires are available on all four of Ford’s 40 mpg cars – the Ford Fiesta SFE, Focus SFE, Fusion Hybrid, and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, as well as the 2011 Edge, Explorer, Fusion, and Taurus.  Now, Ford will extend the availability to the upcoming C-MAX Energi, C-MAX Hybrid, and Focus Electric.

The key to the tires’ fuel economy is low rolling resistance.  Rolling resistance is a measure of the force that the tire requires to travel down the road.  A 10% improvement in rolling resistance leads to a 2% improvement in fuel economy, according to Ford research.

In addition to expanding the use of the automaker’s current fuel-efficient tires, Ford is also researching new tire material and searching for mroe ways to make tires even more economical.

Jan DAtri and Mike Broomhead at Sanderson Ford for Flag Day

Jan D’Atri and Mike Broomhead from KFYI helped us out on Flag Day.  Sanderson Ford was able to exchange 200 new flags for worn out ones.  Our local Boy Scouts provided flag history, proper folding and handling, and a disposal ceremony for the tattered American flags.

Ford Transit Connect Available Locally with CNG Fuel

  • Rising price of traditional gas coupled with significant government incentives and an increasing number of fuel stations is pumping up demand for compressed natural gas-powered (CNG) vehicles by commercial customers.
  • 

  • Ford meets demand by offering CNG as an option for Transit Connect, E-Series vans and F-Series Super Duty trucks.
  • An extremely clean-burning fuel, CNG usage can result in 30 to 40 percent less greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

 

 Higher fuel prices, increasing government incentives and more fueling stations are spurring interest in compressed natural gas-powered commercial vehicles offered by Ford Motor Company.

Consider Metro Taxi of West Haven, Conn., which soon will take delivery of 20 Transit Connect Taxis powered by CNG. Owner Bill Scalzi said he bought the CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxis because of rising gas prices, government funding and the fact that there will soon be more CNG fueling stations in Connecticut, including one he is adding to his facilities.

Scalzi is not alone in wanting to own natural gas fueled vehicles as orders for CNG Transit Connect Taxis are coming from companies in places like Las Vegas, St. Louis, Boston, Chicago and Hartford, Conn.

“Fleet managers are adding all the reasons up and concluding that it makes sense to switch to CNG now more than ever,” said Rod Phillips, Ford Commercial Business Manager of the New England area.

CNG is made by compressing natural gas, which is mainly composed of methane. It is stored and distributed in hard containers at a pressure of 2,900 to 3,600 psi. About 85 percent of the CNG used in the United States is produced domestically.

CNG is used in traditional gasoline internal combustion engines that have been modified to operate on CNG. In addition to Transit Connect Taxi, CNG is an option for Ford E-Series vans and F-Series Super Duty trucks.

The benefits are numerous.  First, CNG is a nontoxic, extremely clean-burning fuel and significantly reduces CO, CO2 and NOx compared with gasoline. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, use of CNG can result in 30 to 40 percent less greenhouse gas emissions.

“The ability to convert the Transit Connect to CNG is a big driving force for us,” said J.J. Bell, vice president of Las Vegas-based Whittlesea Blue Cab, which has ordered Transit Connect Taxis powered by CNG. “We are converting more and more of our fleet to this alternative fuel.”

Another benefit is cost. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, between September 2005 and January, the price per gallon equivalent of CNG peaked at $2.34 in the summer of 2008. The national average was $1.93 in January 2011, the same as it was in October 2010. That’s important at a time when the price of gas is flirting with $4 per gallon.

“Every time fuel costs start climbing, the level of interest in alternative fuels increases,” said Carla York, CEO of Reston, Va.-based Innovation Drive Inc., a company that manages alternative fuel-related projects.

She said her organization receives 12 to 20 percent more calls with every 50-cent increase at the pump.

Government incentive support
An additional benefit is the amount of funding available. Government incentives such as rebates or tax credits are prompting fleet owners such as Scalzi to buy or convert their vehicles to run on CNG at reduced rates.

For example, the federally funded Clean Cities Petroleum Reductions Program is providing $300 million in funding to regional projects across the United States. One project is the Connecticut Clean Cities Future Fuels Project, which partially covers the costs of converting a vehicle to CNG. That project alone plans to provide funding for a total of 264 alternative-fuel vehicles.

“Without the help of the government program I wouldn’t have been able to purchase so many CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxis at one time,” Scalzi said. “I like the Transit Connect Taxi for its spacious passenger area and cargo capacity, so the government assistance was timely.”

The incentives also are helping fund construction of CNG fueling stations. Nearly 1,000 CNG fueling stations are now spread across the United States.

As a result, cities such as Tampa, Fla., and St. Louis soon will have their first public CNG stations.

Gerald Koss, marketing manager for Ford fleet operations, said Ford anticipated the infrastructure to support CNG vehicles would evolve and remained committed to its plans to bring CNG-powered commercial vehicles to market – even during economically challenged times.

“We took the chance that infrastructure would expand when we introduced our Transit Connect Taxi CNG capability in advance of any incentives for infrastructure or CNG conversions,” said Koss. “It turns out our timing couldn’t have been better.”

Ford has invested billions in researching and developing new fuel-efficient engines, transmissions and electrified vehicles, even during the depths of the economic downturn when competitors dialed back product spending. Today Ford has 12 vehicles with best-in-class fuel economy and four models with at least 40 mpg – claims no other full-line automaker can match.

Call the Commercial Sales Department at Sanderson Ford for more information on CNG, Propane, Hybrid, and Electric powered Ford vehicles.  (623) 842-8787

Ford Focus and Fusion Hybrid are Top Green Cars for 2011

The all-new 2012 Ford Focus and the 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid were named as two of the “Top 10 Green Cars for 2011” according to KBB.com.  The 2012 Ford Focus can achieve 28 mp city and 38 mpg highway with an automatic transmission.  Kelley Blue Book also mentioned that there are many other things to like about the Ford Focus, such as “excellent handling, impressively outfitted interior, sweet Euro styling and the availability of cool features like Ford’s SYNC entertainment and communications system.”  The impressive auto-park feature was also noted.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid is just as exciting, with an EPA rating of 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.  KBB.com mentioned that it was an easy pick and that it helped that “it delivers the driving dynamics and comfort that make the conventional Fusion so enduring, including SYNC and navigation, with the addition of a really cool LCD gauge cluster.”  The Ford Fusion includes Ford’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide that uses real-time feedback to tell the driver how to achieve better fuel efficiency.  The technology alone in the car is impressive, not to mention the incredible fuel efficiency.

It’s easy to see why the 2012 Ford Focus and 2011 Ford Fusion easily made their way onto the list of the Top 10 Green Cars of 2011.

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