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Old 12-18-2009, 12:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ford's ecomodding plans (they even have an internal ecomodding forum)

I've seen a flurry of news articles in the past few days about Ford making the largest recent gains in fuel economy among the North American manufacturers.

What's Ford been up to?

I got a chuckle out of reading that they have an internal, employee-only EcoModder-type forum, where efficiency ideas are posted & good ones rewarded:

Quote:
...for employees to share efficiency ideas and receive compensation for viable suggestions. "When we opened it, we had a flood of ideas"
Maybe that explains the FoMoCo registered EM members.... Nah.

The company is taking a four-pronged approach to efficiency:
  • design efficiency ("putting engineers and senior management through a Design for Energy Efficiency training course"
  • aerodynamics
  • weight reduction ("aiming to reach reductions of 250 to 750 pounds in the mid-term")
  • "high-value" fuel economy technology (eg. optimizing "deceleration fuel shut-off and electric power assisted steering")

Here's an interesting claim maybe worth dissecting:

Quote:
Technologies like those that were added to the 2010 Fusion S gave the vehicle a 17 percent improvement in fuel economy over the 2009 version.


Source, and some other snippets here:
Ford's Multi-Pronged Fuel Economy Strategy: How The Fusion S Lost 125 Pounds | GreenBiz.com

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Old 12-18-2009, 01:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What? And we weren't invited!

That's cool. I wish more manufacturers go forward with initiatives like that.

I bet the guy who got the biggest compensation was the one who posted a link to ecomodder.com
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If I were a MoFoCo employee, (oops - did I say that?) I'd suggest that they rummage through their junk pile of crushed electric Rangers, and bring that technology back to market. It's hard for these companies to backpedal and say that it can't be done, after they've already done it in a production vehicle.

( I guess I blew it for that job interview.)
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Cool.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Very interesting!
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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17% eh? Wonder what numbers they fudged...

EDIT: Since when is it OK to introduce technology and knowledge that's been around the block for 20 years and make it seem like it's somehow new and innovative?
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Christ -

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17% eh? Wonder what numbers they fudged...

EDIT: Since when is it OK to introduce technology and knowledge that's been around the block for 20 years and make it seem like it's somehow new and innovative?
*Shrug*. I don't think there is a law against it. That's what made Fiat the "Eco-Car-Company" of Europe. Grab the low hanging fruit, run with it, and make the Fiat Panda.



If high MPG becomes the new standard, then think of all the cars that will have "baseline potential" for better MPG? Orrrrrrr, a smaller window for improvement, ... ... .

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Old 12-19-2009, 02:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Look at how many already have baseline potential, though. It took drivers like us to actually get anywhere with it, eh?

They're just going to do exactly what we've been doing for years, and call it their own "innovation". It pisses me off because they're avoiding the bigger issue of making the engines themselves more fuel efficient, and claiming increased efficiency on the low-note by making modifications to each chassis individually, thus wasting more money and man-hours.

The same engine gets used in 15 different cars.. why not work the engine one time to make it more efficient, instead of working a chassis 15 times but leaving the engine alone?

I DEMAND A RECOUNT!
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Old 12-19-2009, 06:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasdrouille View Post
What? And we weren't invited!

That's cool. I wish more manufacturers go forward with initiatives like that.

I bet the guy who got the biggest compensation was the one who posted a link to ecomodder.com
That's exactly what I thought

I think Ford of N.America could just look over it's European brother's shoulder to get an idea of which low-hanging friut is already available.
This shows how well oriented Ford's management is: starting a contest for their workers for efficiency improvementss kind of hints that they've run out of ideas. As if almost 100 years worth of scientific testing and papers has already been tried and didn't work. Anyone who has seen Kamm's research, or Hucho's book, will win the reward. It's hard to believe that management doesn't know that. Or maybe they are fed up with their own engineers and want to show them that pretty much anyone can do better. It's not the engineers that are doing bad, it's the marketing department, which takes a streamlined econocar, jacks up the suspension, triples the size of the grille, adds fat tires and a spoiler and says "This is going to sell much better".
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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All vehicle stylists should be required to take a quick course on aerodynamics. That way, they're more likely to create a design language that doesn't drive the engineers crazy. Ford does a good job of this, but I'd still like to see concept cars with rear wheel skirts and this body style:


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