The all-new 2013 Ford Fusion midsize sedan is set to arrive in showrooms this fall, and it features some highly unusual recycled materials. While a great amount of time was spent on finding ways to make the Fusion’s powertrains fuel efficient, Ford’s engineers also found unique ways to make the Fusion more “green.” The Fusion’s interior is upholstered with REPREVE yarn, a fabric which is made from industrial waste such as old water bottles and denim.
“Building vehicles with great fuel economy is our highest priority in reducing impact on the environment,” says Carrie Majeske, Ford product sustainability manager. “With every new product design, we also are charged with increasing the use of renewable and recyclable materials in our cars, utilities and trucks to reduce impact on the environment.”
Automakers always pay special attention to the noise levels inside their vehicles. Ford has announced that noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) control is held to world-class standards in the all-new Ford Fusion with post-industrial, recycled cotton used as sound-absorbing material. In every Fusion, the denim equivalent of slightly more than two pairs of average-sized American blue jeans helps to nullify unwanted road, wind and powertrain noise.
The Fusion’s cloth seat surfaces are also made with 100 percent REPREVE yarn, which is a hybrid of materials once utilized for industry purposes and materials used by everyday consumers. Cloth-seat Fusion models contain the equivalent of 38.9 recycled, clear 16-ounce plastic bottles. The process of turning the everyday plastic bottles into a fabric for the Fusion involves melting and reformulating the bottles into chips. These chips are then extruded and textured into fiber. The fibers are then used in the creation of fabric, then dyed, finished and rolled for shipment. Excess fabric from each procedure in the process is recycled back into the system to further eliminate waste.
The interior of the 2013 Fusion isn’t the only place that the Fusion uses recycled materials. Every 2013 Fusion utilizes plastic made from recycled car battery casings. These post-consumer materials were otherwise destined for a landfill. This plastic may be found in fender splash shields and other underbody components. Annually, these applications on the Fusion utilize close to 2 million pounds of recycled plastic.
“We are holistic in reducing our environmental footprint by utilizing post-industrial (blue jeans), post-consumer (battery cases) and sustainable materials technologies (soy foam),” Majeske says. “We do whatever makes the most sense for each application and environmentally from a lifecycle perspective.
“These are steps our customers can appreciate, they are cost-effective and they are better – in the long run – for our planet,” she adds.
The foam in the Fusion’s seats is also made from a sustainable material. The foam used in seat cushions, seat backs and head restraints is a soy-based material, with the equivalent of approximately 31,250 soybeans. Ford first used soy-based foam in the Ford Mustang in 2007. Today, Ford uses soy foam on every vehicle built in North America. Ford’s use of soy foam has reduced petroleum production by more than 5 million pounds and carbon dioxide emissions by more than 20 million pounds annually.