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Ford: Multiple technologies needed to boost fuel economy

Ford: Multiple technologies needed to boost fuel economy

Posting in Energy

"We believe that there aren't silver bullet solutions on fuel economy," says Ford's CFO.

A Ford executives said Wednesday that there are no silver bullets when it comes to improving fuel economy in cars and it takes a wide range of efforts to move the efficiency needle.

Speaking at a UBS investment conference in Frankfurt, Germany Ford CFO Lewis Booth said the company’s diesel Focus ECOnetic will have fuel economy on par with the Toyota Prius. But diesel is just one part of the equation.

Here's what Booth had to say:

EcoBoost is the big story in North America, also available here in Europe, but, of course, diesels are very important in Europe. So yesterday we launched our Focus ECOnetic that will be on sale the middle of next year at 89 grams per kilometer. To put that in context, that is the lowest conventionally engine C-car in the business and is about equal I think to a Toyota Prius full hybrid. We also launched a Fiesta at 87 grams, which is close to the lowest in its segment.

As you know, we believe that there aren't silver bullet solutions on fuel economy that we will need an array of technologies going from the simple stuff like reduced parasitic losses, radiator blinds, smart alternators, and the like. Through substantially improved gas engines, primarily EcoBoost, our continued improvements in diesels, and moving all our transmissions towards six speed.

Those various technologies allow Ford to boost fuel economy ahead of a move toward more electric and hybrid vehicles. Ford will have five electric vehicles by the end of 2013.

On other topics, Booth noted that Ford has 80 percent common parts for the Focus, but can't get to 100 percent because of things like diesel engines, which are common in Europe. In any case, diesel engines get Ford's fuel economy up even as it's a rare option outside of Europe.

Related:

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Larry Dignan

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan is editor-in-chief of SmartPlanet and ZDNet. He is also editorial director of TechRepublic. Previously, he was an editor at eWeek, Baseline and CNET News. He has written for WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, New York Times and Financial Planning. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Delaware. He is based in New York but resides in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure