Sustainable Materials Make Ford F-150 Environmentally Friendly and Tough

Sustainable Materials Make Ford F-150 Environmentally Friendly and Tough

From Ford:

Ford is proving that pickups can be green and tough by adding rice hulls to the list of sustainable materials used to build F-150 – America’s best-selling truck.

Ford is using plastic reinforced with rice hulls – a byproduct of rice grain – in an electrical harness in the 2014 F-150. The company will need at least 45,000 pounds of hulls in the first year.

“The 2014 F-Series exemplifies our continued efforts to use recycled content in our vehicles,” said John Viera, Ford global director of sustainability and vehicle environmental matters. “We can have greater impact in this case because of the size and sales volume of this product.”

The rice hulls are sourced from farms in Arkansas and will replace a talc-based reinforcement in a polypropylene composite made by RheTech, a Whitmore Lake, Mich.-based automotive supplier.

“We developed this resin specifically for Ford over the last three years, working with the automaker closely, including in all phases of material qualification,” said David Preston, director of business development for RheTech. “The whole process has been a rewarding success for both Ford and RheTech, which can add yet another natural-fiber based product to our RheVision line.”

Rice hull-reinforced plastic is the most recent example of Ford researchers and engineers using sustainable material whenever possible in the F-Series – without compromising toughness and durability. F-Series trucks already feature:

 Recycled cotton:

Used as carpet insulation and a sound absorber; every 2014 F-150 contains enough recycled cotton to make the equivalent of 10 pairs of jeans


Used to make seat cushions, seat backs and head restraints

 Recycled carpet:

Some F-150 trucks have cylinder head covers made with EcoLon, a nylon resin produced from 100 percent post-consumer recycled carpet

 Recycled tires:

A thermoplastic material made from recycled tires and post-consumer recycled polypropylene is used to make shields and some underbody covers on F-150

Recycled plastic soda pop and water bottles:

A lightweight fiber derived from recycled plastic soda pop and water bottles is used to construct F-150 wheel liners and shields. The parts are significantly lighter than traditional injection molded parts and lead to a quieter ride. Select F-Series trucks feature fabric made from recycled fiber

 Recycled post-industrial plastics:

Used in interior finish panels, including around radio and climate controls Researchers in Dearborn are constantly searching for the next sustainable material that can feasibly be used in Ford vehicles.

Finding a source of material is only the beginning of the process, however, because before making it to production, components made from recycled content must perform as well or better than comparable virgin-grade material.

Materials development engineers at Ford Materials Engineering, Testing and Standards in Dearborn, in conjunction with RheTech, conducted testing of the rice hull material for more than a year, examining everything from smell and appearance to functionality and flammability. The rice hull-based material successfully passed all tests.

With F-Series as America’s best-selling truck for 36 years – averaging more than 650,000 sales per year – the environmental impact of being as sustainable as possible adds up fast. Ford estimates about 10 million pounds of recycled cotton are used in F-Series trucks annually.

“Fuel economy is a top priority when it comes to Ford’s environmental impact,” says Carrie Majeske, Ford product sustainability manager. “But we also recognize the tremendous impact that can be made by using sustainable materials inside our cars, utilities and trucks.”

The eco-friendly aspects of F-Series extend to the powertrain. The available 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine combines technologies typically associated with heavy-duty truck diesel engines – turbocharging and direct fuel injection – in a gasoline engine.

The engine delivers fuel economy gains of up to 20 percent, while reducing CO2 emissions by up to 15 percent.

Further, the 2014 F-150 equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 engine will be available this fall with a factory-installed package that allows the engine to operate on either natural gas or gasoline through separate fuel systems.

The complete F-Series Super Duty pickup truck and chassis cab lineup is available with gasoline, diesel, B20, and dedicated compressed natural gas or liquid propane gas capability, or CNG/LPG bi-fuel capability, while Ford F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks can be outfitted for gasoline, biodiesel or CNG/LPG operation. In addition to biodiesel and CNG/LPG offerings, the 6.2-liter V8 can operate on E85, an ethanol-gasoline mix.


Ford to discontinue F-150 Harley Davidson special edition model

Ford to discontinue F-150 Harley Davidson special edition model

Ford has announced that they will discontinue the F-150 Harley Davidson special edition for the next model year.

According to Automotive News, Ford Motor Company’s marketing manager, Doug Scott, said the company has 10 models that were made for 2013, and they feel as though they have the market covered really well.

“With the introduction of Platinum and Raptor, it was not a high-volume or high-turn vehicle for us. It won’t be missed,” Scott said.

Thoughts? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV. names Ford F-150 “Most American” for 2013 names Ford F-150 “Most American” for 2013


CHICAGO –, the premier online resource for buying and selling new and used cars, announced today that the Ford F-150 has topped the site’s American-Made Index. This is the first time in four years that a domestic automaker is once again the “Most American.” Prior to the F-150’s top spot, the Toyota Camry topped the list from 2009-2012. The list is determined by analyzing three data points; domestic-parts content (percentage of vehicle’s parts produced in the U.S.), final vehicle assembly point and vehicle sales.

“Strong sales and 75 percent domestic-parts content propelled Ford’s popular F-150 to the top of the index for 2013, a rank it held from 2006 to 2008,” said Patrick Olsen,’s Editor-in-Chief. “Ford’s top ranking this year is a good indicator of how pickup trucks are dominating auto sales so far in 2013, and how the domestic automakers are bouncing back. While the assembly point and domestic parts content of the F-150 didn’t change from 2012-2013, vehicle sales are responsible for bumping the F-150 to the top spot.”

While the Toyota Camry is no longer the highest ranked on the list, Toyota still remains the brand with the greatest number of vehicles ranked. As was the case in 2012, the list remains an even split between foreign-owned and domestic-owned automakers, with five domestic brands and five foreign brands on the list. In addition to Toyota’s four vehicles on the list, General Motors has a total of three. Chrysler, Ford and Honda each have one vehicle on the list.

Rank Make/Model Manufacturer U.S. Assembly Location(s) Rank in 2012
1. Ford F-150 Ford Dearborn, Mich.; Claycomo, Mo. 2
2. Toyota Camry Toyota Georgetown, Ky,; Lafayette, Ind. 1
3. Dodge Avenger Chrysler Sterling Heights, Mich.
4. Honda Odyssey Honda Lincoln, Ala.
5. Toyota Sienna Toyota Princeton, Ind. 4
6. Chevrolet Traverse General Motors Lansing, Mich. 6
7. Toyota Tundra Toyota San Antonio, Texas 7
8. GMC Acadia General Motors Lansing, Mich. 9
9. Buick Enclave General Motors Lansing, Mich. 10
10. Toyota Avalon Toyota Georgetown, Ky.

“Buying American isn’t necessarily the key decision maker for every car shopper; however a study we conducted in 2012 indicated that 25 percent of shoppers surveyed preferred to buy American,” said Olsen. “The American-Made Index is meant to help car shoppers understand that ‘American-Made’ extends beyond just the Detroit three.”

Do you agree with the American-Made Index? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.

President George W. Bush’s Ford F-150 retrieves $300,000 at Barrett Jackson

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A 2009 Ford F-150 King Ranch 4×4 SuperCrew belonging to President George W. Bush sold for $300,000 on Saturday at the Barrett Jackson auction.

According to a press release, the pickup truck was purchased shortly after Bush left the White House in 2009. It has a 5.4-liter V8 engine that puts out 310 horses, and was used mostly around the ranch.

All proceeds from the sale are going to the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides temporary housing for families of military members being treated for injuries.

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Xtreme 4×4 continues on our half-price Raptor


On a NEW episode of Xtreme 4×4, our F-150 rolls on with a supercharged 5.4-liter engine bringing the boom! We’ll update the electronics to handle our V8 and reuse some key components to save money!

Plus, we head out to the high-stakes racings even at the East Coast King of the Hammers Qualifier!

Oh, and we also visit our first job for PowerBlock’s Driveway Rescue!

Don’t miss a NEW Xtreme 4×4 this week at 9:00 a.m. EST on Spike TV!

Check out a list of parts from this week’s show here: Xtreme 4×4


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