Note: The special sections included in each issue of
green@work investigate recent developments and progress within a
specific market segment. In this issue, we turn our attention to
the automotive industry, but have departed from our normal reporting
process by excerpting remarks by Gerhard Schmidt, vice president,
research and advanced engineering for Ford Motor Co., to the International
Motor Press Association this past July. In his address, Schmidt
offered candid insights on where the industry has been, where it
is today and, most importantly, the direction it needs to head for
I have come today to talk about the future of the automobilewhat
it will look like, how it will operate and what will power it. One
might say we are at the crossroads from which a number of alternatives
may emerge. I will try to cover a number of the possibilities.
There is no doubt that what our children will be driving in the
decades ahead will be quite different from whats in the garage
today. Change is nothing new in the automotive industry.
If you go back to the start of the last century, the automotive
fleet was 40 percent electric, 40 percent steam and less than 15
percent powered by gasoline. In the 20th century, gasoline won the
fight for supremacy. But no one would have been able to predict
that as the century began. So now, I am going to gaze into my crystal
ball and tell you what I think the future of the car and truck will
look like in the next century.
Forecasting the future is a big part of my job as leader of Ford
Research and Advanced Engineering. Twelve hundred researchers in
the U.S. and Europe are focusing on developing the next big thing
in such areas as infotronics, powertrain, safety and materials.
We have a lot to brag abouton how far the car has progressed.
Cars have become more fuel efficient, using half the fuel they did
30 years ago to go the same distance. What comes out of the tailpipe
of a vehicle todayin terms of NOx, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbonsis
99 percent cleaner than would have come out in the early 1970s.
The fatality rate from automobile accidents is down more than 70
percent from the mid-1960s in terms of million miles driven. But
in the U.S. we are driving much more, so the total number of fatal
accidents has somewhat flattened out on an annual basis.
With the introduction of such things as advanced electronic engine
controls, catalysts, smart air bags and seat belts, and advanced
simulation technologytodays vehicles are cleaner and
safer than would have ever been imaginable 50 years ago.
But there are changes underway that show that our present business
model is unsustainable for the next 50 years. We simply cant
go on like this.
Worldwide population growth will almost double from where it was
in the 1970s over the next decade. And with that growthand
the growth of the middle class in the developing worldcomes
a growth in the demand for cars and trucks. And with more vehicles,
comes more demand for fuel. Worldwide energy usage for cars and
trucks has more than doubled in the last 30 years. With all that
growth comes an increase in the output of carbon dioxide and other
There is no indication of stopping, or even slowing down, this trend.
We are already seeing the effects of man and his machines on the
environment. The experts tell us the world is getting warmer. Average
global surface air temperature is rising. Over the past 100 years,
it has gone up about one degree on average.
Its expected to rise at least a couple more degrees over the
next 50 years, and more after that. The growing scientific consensus
is that climate change is real. And with it, glaciers melt, sea
levels rise, ocean temperatures go up, arctic seas ice retreats.
Snow cover decreases.
|Tax Incentives Renewed
|In early October, President Bush signed into law H.R 1308,
the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004, which
eliminates the phase-out of a tax deduction for electric drive
vehicles for 2004 and 2005, and also eliminates the phase-out
deduction for clean-fuel vehicle property for 2004 and 2005.
Under the previous law, qualified hybrid electric vehicles were
eligible for a tax deduction of $2,000 in the year 2003; $1,500
in the year 2004; $1,000 in 2005, and $500 in 2006. Under the
qualified hybrid electrics are eligible for the full $2,000
tax deduction in 2004 and 2005; the deduction remains at $500
The bill also includes measures designed for the use of qualified
heavy-duty battery electric and hybrid electric vehicles used
by fleets and other businesses. Qualified clean-fuel vehicle
property includes motor vehicles that use certain clean-burning
fuels such as electricity and hydrogen. The maximum amount of
the deduction is $50,000 for a truck or van with a gross vehicle
weight over 26,000 pounds, or a bus with seating capacities
of at least 20 adults; a deduction of $5,000 is available for
a truck or van with a gross vehicle weight between 10,000 and
26,000 pounds. A $2,000 deduction is available for any other
motor vehicle. The bill provides that a taxpayer who purchases
a qualifying vehicle may claim 100 percent of the otherwise
allowable deduction for vehicles purchased in 2004 and 2005
(there was a phase-out
specification under the old law.) For vehicles purchased in
2006, the deduction remains at 25 percent of the otherwise allowable
amount as under present law. The effective date for vehicles
placed in service is after December 31, 2003.
The leading greenhouse gas culprit is carbon dioxide. The level
of CO2 in the pre-industrial atmosphere was approximately 280 parts
per million. Since the industrial revolution the concentration of
CO2 has risen to 370 parts per million and is increasing at a rate
of approximately two parts per million per year. This is already
driving policy and will continuously shift market and regulatory
pressures toward reducing CO2 output from our powertrains. Taxes
on carbon output could be as common tomorrow as taxes are on income
today. How much is the automobile involved in the problem of global
warming? It is not the major playerbut cars and trucks do
play a significant role.
Emissions from light-duty vehicles account for approximately 12
percent of global fossil fuel emissions of carbon dioxide. And while
output of CO2 from cars and trucks continues to rise in North Americaother
parts of the world like China and Latin America are catching up
Demand for crude oil makes the world dependent on one part of the
worldthe Middle Eastbecause thats where most of
the proven oil reserves are.
Meanwhile worldwide vehicle sales are expected to double in 50 yearsputting
even more strain on those oil reserves. Most of that sales growth
will take place in the developing world. And in those regions, traffic
fatalities are expected to increase over the coming decades. In
the developed world, they have leveled out or decreased. So while
we have gone far making vehicles cleaner and safer, much more needs
to be done.
If our vehicles in the future will be safer and more intelligent,
they will also be cleaner. In fact, our goal at Ford is to eliminate
the motor vehicle from the environmental debate. The way to do that
is to design them to have no impact on the environment. They emit
no pollution, no greenhouse gases, consume little fuel (and what
they do consume is made from renewable sources), producing them
creates no wasteand at the end of life, they are completely
The gasoline powered internal combustion engine is not going away
any time soon. But for the first time, there are potential alternatives,
such as hybrid-electric and fuel cell vehicles, hydrogen internal
combustion engines and advanced clean diesel. No single global technology
solution has yet emerged.
Hybrids will play a greater role in our energy future. Later this
summer the Escape Hybrid goes on sale. In 2007, the Mercury version,
the Mariner Hybrid goes on saleand after that a sedan hybrid
will be added to the Ford fleet. The combination of a battery/electric
powertrain with a gasoline engine provides fuel efficient driving.
Regenerative braking captures energy. And emissions are reduced.
This market is still emerging, and we are interested in seeing how
customers appreciate the benefits of a hybrid vehicle.
The diesel engine has a bad reputation in United States. But because
of its efficiency, low fuel consumption, low CO2 emissions, favorable
power and torque characteristics and low cost of ownershipit
is an engine under the hood of almost 50 percent of the vehicles
sold in Europe, and diesels popularity continues to grow.
Todays diesel does not have the smoke of the past. It has
lower emissions when you fill it up with low-sulfur fuel. Its
quiet. And with high pressure direct injection and fast glow plugs,
it starts as fast as every other engine. Tomorrows diesel
will be even cleaner due to advanced particulate filters and after
treatment including catalyst and urea injection technology. At Ford,
we are working on developing the cleanest diesel ever developedmeeting
todays Partial Zero Emission Vehicle, or PZEV, standards.
Our gasoline engines are improving too, both in terms of emissions
and efficiency. The PZEV Focus, introduced nationwide last year,
meets Californias stringent emissions standard in a no-compromise
vehicle. A PZEV Focus has to drive 6,700 miles to produce the same
tailpipe emissions as a 5.4-horsepower lawnmower used for one hour.
Our engineers did this through careful design of the I-4 engines
combustion chambers, coupled with sophisticated electronic controls.
Emission actions also include close placement of the catalytic converters
to the exhaust manifold to allow them to reach operating temperatures
more quickly, and electrically controlled exhaust gas recirculation
that recycles inert gas into the combustion chamber to reduce NOx
emissions and improve fuel economy.
There is a future for direct injection in gasoline engines. After
proving its success in diesel applications, we introduced direct
injection technology in a gasoline engine with the introduction
of the 1.8 liter Duratec SCi engine last year in Europe. The Duratec
SCi uses less fuel, especially under low engine speeds or low load
conditions, which makes it ideal for improving fuel economy in everyday,
real-world driving. Similar to a common-rail direct-injection diesel
engine, a direct-injection petrol engine injects fuel directly into
the combustion chamber instead of into the intake port.
But as we move ahead, powering vehicles by hydrogen is the ultimate
long-term courseeliminating tailpipe emissions, except for
water. CO2 emissions are eliminated if hydrogen is obtained from
renewable resources. Production of hydrogen can be sustainable.
And the production and use of hydrogenthe most abundant element
in the universewould reduce our dependence on imported oil.
Hydrogen powered internal combustion engines are a good bridge to
fuel cells, which are, by our estimation, still a decade away in
terms of mass retail sales. Hydrogen ICE engines produce
near zero CO2, near zero hydrocarbons, up to a 25 percent increase
in fuel efficiency versus gasoline, leverage existing manufacturing
assets, and use familiar technology compared to a fuel cell.
A H2ICE engine is modified to burn hydrogen by increasing the compression
ratio, installing hydrogen compatible fuel injectors, modifying
the ignition and electrical systems, adding a supercharger or turbocharger,
and using a unique control strategy. Hydrogen fuel storage and safety
systems are similar to fuel cell vehicles. While other systems are
similar to conventional gasoline-powered vehicles.
Fuel cells are the ultimate long-term solutionthe ideal and
sustainable propulsion system of the future.
We already have more than 25 fuel cell vehicles on the roadmost
in Detroit, a couple in Sacramento, undergoing testing. The Ford
Focus Fuel Cell Vehicle takes a regular Ford Focus four-door and
adds a Ballard Mark 902 fuel cell stack, a regenerative braking
system and a 5000 psi hydrogen storage system. It produces no emissions
except for water and a little heat. Later this year, we plan to
put four more of these vehicles into service on the streets of Vancouver,
British Columbia. And, as part of a partnership with BP and the
U.S. Department of Energy, we will put up to 30 additional Focus
Fuel Cell Vehicles in fleets in Orlando, Detroit and a couple more
in Sacramento. BP is building the fueling infrastructure to support
By testing fuel cell vehicles in everyday conditions and applications,
Ford is moving the industry toward commercialization. Projects like
these will provide the data we need to engineer improved performance,
reliability and durability of fuel cell vehicles, and prepare the
market for wide spread commercialization.
Ford supports California Governor Schwarzeneggers Hydrogen
Highway Network initiativeto set up a network of more than
200 fueling stations across the state. In fact, I am the auto industry
representative on its advisory panel.
Where do we get the fuel? If we create the hydrogen from fossil
fuels (which is today the cheapest method) by steam-reforming methane,
and releasing the C02 into the atmosphere, then we are not any better
off than we are today. But if you can make hydrogen from coal or
methane and sequester the CO2 in the ground, that is one solution.
But solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal biomass and nuclear create
no residual greenhouse gases.
So looking ahead: zero emissions fuel efficient propulsion systems
will be the powertrains of the future. Active safety systems will
complement passive safety technology to provide new levels of customer
safety. Powertrain controls, electronics, active safety and intelligent
transportation systems will merge and deliver new levels of comfort
We are indeed at a crossroads. Its up to us to go in the right
|UPS Expands Real-World Testing
|Buoyed by initial road-test results and significant technological
advancements, UPS will deploy its first three large package
delivery vehicles utilizing hydrogen fuel cells for power. The
first fuel cell Dodge Sprinter was deployed in Los Angeles,
CA. The remaining two Sprinters will be deployed in Sacramento
and Ann Arbor, MI.
In May 2003, UPS, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and
DaimlerChrysler announced a collaborative project to advance
the state of hydrogen fuel cells by harnessing the technology
to power the first commercial delivery fleet in North America.
Starting in March 2004, DaimlerChrysler provided an F-Cell,
a fuel cell-powered Mercedes-Benz A-Class car, which UPS modified
for early-morning package deliveries in southeastern Michigan.
The car is fueled daily at the EPAs hydrogen fueling station
at its National Emissions Testing Laboratory in Ann Arbor. DaimlerChrysler
and UPS concurrently began testing a medium-duty vehicle in
Germany. The new Dodge Sprinters were built in part on information
gathered during these road tests.
According to DaimlerChrysler, compared to the first Sprinter,
the new fuel cell Sprinters feature a 20 percent increase in
powertrain efficiency; a 40 percent increase in range to 155
miles; and a 45 percent increase in peak engine power. They
now have similar acceleration as a gas- or diesel-powered UPS
The trucks will feature UPS signature brown color and
logo, but special graphics on the sides feature concentric circles
rippling outwards, representing water.