Can something as simple as the trim around a window switch save thousands of litres of fuel?
Most people would immediately say “No,” but since the question was posed in a Ford press release, you know the answer is going to be “Yes.”
In fact, Ford goes on to say “The window switch surround in the new Ford Fusion saves 10,200 litres of diesel fuel usage and 27,000 kg of carbon dioxide emissions annually.”
How’s that even possible? Here’s Ford’s answer:
First, a breakthrough in resins from supplier BASF allows Ford to skip the step that requires these moulded plastic trim pieces to be painted with a tough, high gloss finish.
That not only cuts material costs – by about 50% – but reduces Fusion’s environmental impact because no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted into the atmosphere because the painting process was eliminated.
Second, skipping this step means the trim supplier does not have to ship parts to the painter in Grand Rapids, Mich., thus eliminating the fuelling and operation of a fleet of trucks that emit tonnes of carbon dioxide.
DO THE MATH
Here how Ford did the math: “The round trip between the plastic part moulder in Vicksburg, Mich., and the painter in Grand Rapids is 206 km. It takes roughly 68 litres of diesel fuel for the transport truck for each trip. The trip is made three days a week, which requires 204 litres of fuel. Presuming 50 weeks per year of production, this means Ford is saving 10,200 litres of diesel and eliminating 27,000 kg of CO2 from Fusion production each year.”
And just by changing the trim material around Fusion window switches.
“As is so often the case with manufacturing, going green means saving green,” said Ford engineer Robert Bedard. “We cut fuel usage, VOC and carbon emissions, and we save 50% on the cost of these parts alone.”