The road to sustainability usually involves finding ways to do more with less, and when it comes to green transportation technology, that’s certainly true of Ford Motor Co.’s new EcoBoost engine. EcoBoost is an “engine downsizing” program that coaxes more power from smaller engines through the use of turbocharging and gasoline direct injection. Essentially, the Ford EcoBoost engine delivers V8 performance from a V6 engine and V6 performance from a 4-cylinder engine. Even cooler news: When you don’t need the extra power, the smaller engine is able to operate much more efficiently than the larger engine it replaces. Ford is currently deploying this technology in a wide variety of models, from full-size pickups and SUVs down to compact cars.
Ford is also advancing hybrid technology in several of its latest mainstream cars. Both the redesigned Fusion sedan and the new C-MAX five-door hatchback feature Ford’s latest-generation hybrid technology. These two roomy cars deliver fuel economy approaching 50 mpg, with EPA ratings of 47 mpg for both city and highway driving. Plus, they’re fun to drive, with responsive acceleration and above-average handling.
Plug-in hybrid technology is also available on the Fusion and C-MAX models for 2013. Ford calls its plug-in hybrid models “Energi.” With a larger, 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, an Energi can travel up to 21 miles on electric power alone. The Fusion and C-MAX Energi plug-in models deliver the equivalent of 108 mpg in the city, 92 mpg on the highway and 100 mpg for combined driving. On trips with longer stretches between charging, fuel economy will be lower but still exceptional.
For zero-emissions purists, Ford offers the popular Focus in an all-electric model. The Michigan-built Focus Electric has a larger, 23-kilowatt-hour, liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack. As a dedicated electric vehicle, its range is about 76 miles before needing a charge. Charging from a 240-volt home charging station takes about four hours.