Ford’s Focus Electric Vehicle Gets Even Greener
Taking the “reduce, reuse, and recycle” mantra to the next level, Ford announced that the 2012 Focus Electric vehicle will use branded REPREVE® recycled seat fabric. The REPREVE fabric will also be incorporated into other new vehicles for the next model year.
The Focus Electric is Fords first vehicle to have an interior made from 100% clean technology. REPREVE-based fabrics are made from a hybrid blend of recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles and post-consumer waste. The companies will set up bottle collections at upcoming trade shows that will be recycled into fabric and expect to divert about 2 million post-consumer plastic bottles from landfills.
“Ford is committed to delivering vehicles with leading fuel efficiency while targeting at least 25 percent clean technology in interior materials across our lineup,” says Carol Kordich, lead designer of Sustainable Materials for Ford. “The Focus Electric highlights this commitment as Ford’s first gas-free vehicle, and the first in the automotive industry to use branded REPREVE.”
This program will also try to raise awareness about the importance and benefits of plastic bottle recycling. “After decades of education, the United States PET bottle recycling rate is only at 29 percent, about half the rate of Europe,” said Roger Berrier, president and COO of Unifi Inc. (NYSE: UFI). “We hope this recycling initiative with Ford will help raise visibility around the importance of recycling with a goal to drive recycling rates to 100 percent, diverting millions of plastic bottles from entering the waste stream and potentially back into REPREVE-branded fibers.”
Each vehicle will have about 22 recycled plastic bottles in the seat fabric. In 2009, Ford mandated that fabric suppliers use a minimum of 25% recycled content for all 2009 and beyond model year vehicles. Since then, 37 different fabrics meeting the requirements have been developed and incorporated into Ford vehicles. Ford’s goal is to have its vehicles be 100% recyclable and they are currently at approximately 90% recyclable at end of life.