Ford Bronco Sport showcases potentially industry-changing part that no other car has
It’s just a little clip for the second row passenger seats that helps when the side airbags are deployed in the popular Bronco Sport. But it’s a first step for a planned wider use of recycled ocean plastics in Ford vehicle manufacturing, the automaker said on Wednesday.
Ford Motor Co. F,
said its Bronco Sport SUV – a nostalgic reintroduced model that has a long waiting list – now includes 100% recycled plastic harvested from the ocean or âghost gear,â as it’s called, for a particular part . This part consists of the wire harness clips, completely invisible to the occupants, which weigh about five grams, and the guide wires that feed the side curtain airbags.
But reusing plastic in the automotive industry “is a good example of a circular economy, and while these clips are small, they are an important first step in our explorations to use recycled ocean plastics for additional parts.” [and on additional models] going forward, âsaid Jim Buczkowski, Ford vice president of research.
The strength and durability of the nylon material is equal to that of previously used petroleum-based parts, but with a 10% saving and less energy required to produce them, the company said.
Ford has partnered with DSM Engineering Materials, which collects plastics from the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. Items made from plastics collected from the oceans include a wide range of consumer goods, but until now have excluded auto parts.
Recently, the automaker has used recycled water bottles to produce lightweight underbody shields, improving aerodynamics and reducing noise on its 2020 Ford Escape.
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According to Pew Charitable Trusts, up to 13 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, threatening marine life and polluting shorelines. Much of this is attributed to the fishing industry, which has come to depend on plastic fishing nets and other equipment due to the durability, light weight, buoyancy and low cost of the boat. material.
These same qualities help create ghost nets, a deadly and growing threat to marine life. Ghost gear accounts for nearly 10% of all marine plastic waste, entangling fish, sharks, dolphins, seals, sea turtles and birds.
Rethinking parts isn’t the only climate-conscious initiative at Ford, which is responding to changing demand and anticipating stricter regulations and incentives on the path to reducing fossil fuel emissions.
Ford CEO Jim Farley took to Twitter earlier this month to tout the company’s intentions to become the second-largest electric vehicle maker behind Tesla TSLA,
Farley, a longtime Ford executive who held the most senior position in October 2020, said the company was approaching electric vehicles the same way it approached building ventilators and PPE for COVID-19. : “Anyway, find a way. “
Read: In pursuit of Tesla: here are the current plans for electric vehicles from each major automaker
Farley said at the time that Ford was making “final preparations” to launch the F-150 Lightning, the all-electric version of its best-selling F-150 pickup, which had recorded more than 160,000 reservations. The electric Mustang Mach-E is a hit with customers, he said, and Ford will begin production of the new Transit electric commercial van soon.
Ford’s stock is up 126% year-to-date, with the S&P 500 SPX,
almost 25% on the same section.