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Diesel Destined for Ford's Transit; Fuel-Environment Calculator Ready for Fleets

March 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

by TruckingInfo Staff

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Ford Commercial Truck says its upcoming Euro-style Transit full-size van will have a diesel as well as gasoline engines and reiterated that the Transit will get at least 25% better fuel economy than the E-series vans it will begin replacing next year.


The diesel will be in addition to the 3.5-liter EcoBoost turbocharged gasoline V-6 announced early this month. The diesel, of undisclosed size and configuration, will be a new product built in North America, says Kevin Koswick, director, North American fleet, lease and remarketing operations for Ford.

Ford stopped offering a diesel in the E-series when its supply agreement with Navistar International went sour and then ended several years ago. And Ford's own Power Stroke V-8 diesel is too big for the E-series' engine bay.

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The return of a diesel option to Ford's full-size van lineup answers customers' calls for more choice when seeking a van with superior fuel economy and balanced capability, Koswick says.

Speaking to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, Koswick says Ford is committed to continuing to provide customers a range of options to reduce their operating costs through fuel-efficient engines and alternative-fuel products.

These include EcoBoost, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric, biodiesel and compressed and liquefied natural gas.

The Transit's fuel economy gains will come from more modern and efficient engines and "smart weight savings" that will trim at least 300 pounds compared to an E-series truck, Koswick says.

As the Transit goes into production, the E-series will be phased out, but certain body styles will continue to be available through most of the decade in North America.

Fuel Cost Calculator

Meanwhile, Ford's fleet specialists have developed a new computer tool to help optimize fleet purchases based on specific fuel types, operating locations and carbon emissions the trucks generate.

Called the Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Cost Calculator, the tool will help managers understand their current carbon footprint and model various scenarios based on the types of vehicles they choose for their fleets.

Carbon footprint has become important in many corporate minds, and the tool will help managers reduce their footprints and boost social credibility.

The calculator incorporates important information to evaluate fuel costs and emissions, says Sandy Winkler, senior researcher with Ford Research and Innovation and developer of the tool.

Included are vehicle and fuel type, traffic conditions, and geographic region of operations, in which the car will be used to generate information about the efficiency of a fleet. Special formulas and variables will determine the environmental impact and fuel costs of specific vehicles.

For example, the tool can demonstrate how operating an electric vehicle in Portland, Ore., has different environmental ramifications from one operating in Philadelphia. This is due to hydropower being a common source of electricity in the Pacific Northwest, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, compared with the mostly coal-based electricity used in the East Central region, Winkler said.

The proprietary program must be used with the support of a Ford representative. Information about it is available through Ford Commercial Truck dealers and at ford.com.

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