The Ford Fusion Energi research vehicle will be on display later this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The idea behind the vehicle was launched last year when Ford and Coca-Cola research teams came together to explore innovation opportunities in more sustainable products. Both companies use PET, a durable, lightweight plastic also known as polyethylene terephthalate, in a variety of products including plastic bottles, fabrics and carpets. This provided a natural opportunity to bring together both recyclable and renewable technologies.
Since The Coca-Cola Company introduced PlantBottle Technology to the market in 2009 as the first-ever recyclable PET plastic bottle made partially from plants, more than 18 billion PlantBottle packages have been distributed in 28 countries resulting in more than 400,000 barrels of oil saved. If PlantBottle interior fabrics were migrated across the majority of U.S. Ford models, it would displace nearly 4 million pounds of petroleum-derived materials, as well as save the equivalent of 295,000 gallons of gasoline and 6,000 barrels of oil.
"This collaboration with Ford demonstrates that PlantBottle Technology can be applied anywhere PET plastic is traditionally used, but with a lighter footprint on the planet," said Scott Vitters, general manager, PlantBottle packaging platform, The Coca-Cola Company. "We are pleased to share this technology with Ford, and look forward to continuing to expand the application of PlantBottle Technology."The PlantBottle-Fusion Energi initiative is also encouraged by the World Wildlife Fund, which advises companies to look for alternatives to fossil fuels. "The Coca-Cola Company and Ford Motor Company partnership is a great example of how collaborations can help scale up positive changes to benefit the environment," said Erin Simon, manager, business and industry, packaging and material science, World Wildlife Fund. "This atypical partnership is a great model for other businesses to follow, and can have a measurable impact on critical environmental issues." Building upon the success of PlantBottle Technology, Ford has been able to produce the first-ever fiber that can be woven into durable, automotive-grade PET fabric from PlantBottle material. Fusion Energi, a plug-in hybrid version of Ford's global midsize car, was determined to be the perfect vehicle on which to test out the material.