EV Engineering News

Ford turns plastic bottles into seat covers for the new Focus Electric

The Ford Focus Electric is green from its non-existent tailpipe to its sustainable seat covers. Ford announced Thursday that the new compact EV will be the company’s first car to feature 100 percent sustainable clean technologies in interior materials, including seat fabrics with REPREVE fiber.

REPREVE, made by North Carolina-based firm Unifi, is a polyester fiber made from a blend of recycled materials, including post-industrial fiber waste and post-consumer waste such as PET bottles.

Ford will be drawing attention to its green auto interiors by collecting PET bottles at high-profile events including this month’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, to be recycled into REPREVE fabric for use in the Focus Electric and other new vehicles.

“Ford is committed to delivering vehicles with leading fuel efficiency while targeting at least 25 percent clean technology in interior materials across our lineup,” says Carol Kordich, Lead Designer of Sustainable Materials for Ford. “The Focus Electric highlights this commitment as Ford’s first gas-free vehicle, and the first in the automotive industry to use branded REPREVE.”

The Focus Electric went into production in December at the company’s Michigan Assembly Plant.

Currently Ford vehicles are approximately 90 percent recyclable; 100 percent is the company’s goal. Since 2009, Ford’s fabric suppliers have been required to use a minimum of 25 percent recycled content. Fords now use 37 different sustainable fabrics, including soy foam seat cushions, castor oil foam in instrument panels, recycled resins for underbody systems and natural-fiber plastic for interior components.


Image: Ford

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