During the second half of my trip to Detroit I got the opportunity to learn more about Ford's overall vision for sustainability. I toured the Rouge River F-150 plant, tested out some new vehicles and heard Ford's plans to make fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicles affordable and accessible for all. It was great to hear from the people in the front offices that issues like global urbanization, total life-cycle conservation, conflict minerals and corporate social responsibility both in the U.S. and abroad were at the top of their list of concerns.
Green was definitely popular at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. Chevrolet's Volt, an electric vehicle, was named 2011 Car of the Year and there was also lots of buzz around the electric Nissan Leaf. What made Ford's green vision different was that they offered a line up of nine different vehicles with varying degrees of fuel-efficiency and environmental-friendliness -- everything from gas powered trucks featuring the Ecoboost engine to hybrids, plug-in hybrids and the upcoming 2012 all electric Ford Focus. For more information on Ford's green line up go to http://www.ford.com/.
Below is a pictoral account of the last part of my trip.
|You can't tell it from this picture, but this is the largest "green" roof in the world. Created in 2004 the rooftop garden reduces storm water runoff and helps offset greenhouse gas emissions.|
|The birthplace of the Ford F-150, the Rouge Plant in Dearborn, Michigan|
|My favorite of Ford's green line up -- The 2012 all electric Ford Focus|
|What sets the Focus apart from the Nissan Leaf? Half the time at the charging station for one thing!|