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Cars All new 2015 Ford Edge

Published on June 25th, 2014 | by Tina Casey

6

All New 2015 Ford Edge Crosses Over Into Green Turf

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June 25th, 2014 by
 
We’re spending a couple of days over in Michigan with the folks at Ford, which has just rolled out the all new 2015 Ford Edge crossover SUV. The Edge has been a huge hit for Ford since it was introduced in 2006 so there are high expectations for the new edition, as in, what’s left to improve upon?

All new 2015 Ford Edge

All new 2015 Ford Edge (photo by Tina Casey).

The other question you might be asking yourself is why CleanTechnica has suddenly taken up an interest in gasmobiles, of which the Edge is one. There are a couple of answers to that, one being the load of fuel efficiency goodies that Ford has piled onto the new Edge. Another is the emergence of sustainably sourced liquid biofuels, which we’ll get to in a minute.

There’s also a third reason that relates to our interest in electric vehicles, including fuel cell EVs, but we’ll save that for the end.

The All New 2015 Ford Edge

Ford has given the 2015 Edge a top-to-bottom makeover, which includes several major improvements for fuel efficiency. We’ll call them the low hanging fruit in terms of Ford’s how-to-improve-on-perfection dilemma, since they could have been accomplished without requiring any particularly visible changes from earlier models.

Major items among the long list of fuel efficiency tweaks that Ford has provided include the stepped-up EcoBoost engine, which we covered back in December when Ford rolled it out. There is also stop-start technology, and since we got a chance to test drive a Ford with stop-start in December we can personally testify that you can’t feel a thing when the engine shuts on and off, except we did feel that satisfied feeling you get when you know you’re not wasting gas, spewing fumes, and adding wear and tear on your engine while in idle.

For a complete rundown of the enhancements go ahead and visit Ford online, they’ll be happy to oblige.

Sustainable Biofuel For Your Ford Gasmobile

Given the potential advantages of electric vehicles in terms of carbon management it’s tempting imagine all-electric vehicles taking over the entire global market, but to our way of thinking the sustainable automotive world of the future will be one that accommodates energy diversity.

For that reason, we’re thinking that higher-efficiency, lower-emission liquid fuel vehicles like the 2015 Ford Edge are likely here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Ford is in fact banking on substantial growth worldwide in the years to come, as well continued growth here in North America.

With that in mind, let’s digress a bit and consider that the US Navy has joined the Agriculture Department’s Farm-to-Fleet initiative, which builds on earlier biofuel partnerships with the Energy Department and the Interior Department. It’s aimed at pushing next-generation liquid biofuels into the competitive marketplace. Here’s the latest development:

…the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Navy’s joint “Farm-to-Fleet” venture will now make biofuel blends part of regular, operational fuel purchase and use by the military.

Today’s announcement marks the first time alternative fuels such as advanced drop-in biofuels will be available for purchase through regular procurement practices. It lowers barriers for alternative domestic fuel suppliers to do business with DOD. Preliminary indications from the Defense Production Act Title III Advanced Drop-in Biofuels Production Project are that drop-in biofuels will be available for less than $4 per gallon by 2016, making them competitive with traditional sources of fuel.

The Navy is already experimenting with biofuel from algae, waste grease, and even chicken fat, as well as non-food crops that don’t carry the same environmental baggage that corn ethanol and other conventional biofuel sources have been lugging around.

With a fuel-hungry partner like the US Department of Defense pushing the market, there is at least some potential for sustainably sourced liquid biofuel to satisfy the global liquid fuel vehicle sector, in the context of a more diversified auto market that includes a healthy dose of EVs.

Which Came First, The EV Or The Edge?

One thing about the 2015 Ford Edge rollout that really interested us was the twin emphasis on technology and emotion.

We’re going to save some of the detail for a later post, but in multiple presentations Ford officials stayed on message, and the message was that along with great design value Ford customers are looking for advanced technology and an emotional connection to the driving experience.

That personal connection was emphasized in the last presentation of the day by Kenneth Cole (yes, we were surprised, too). The designer and AIDS activist first famous for footwear capped off a witty and insightful dinnertime commentary by noting that thanks to the emergence of personal branding via social media, the mission of a commercial brand today is not to compel people to identify themselves with it, but to ask people to invite it into their personal brand.

For the 2015 Ford Edge, this translates into some rather non-automotive observations about how Edge owners and potential buyers see themselves, especially in terms of the interior design, punctuated frequently by words like inspiration, serenity, and sanctuary.

 

In a nutshell, the new Edge is aimed at a tech-savvy, affluent, aspirational, educated market, which is pretty much the same personal-brand target that Tesla Motors is hitting on.

So naturally, we were wondering if that means an EV version of Edge is hovering somewhere in the near future.

If you were wondering the same thing, don’t get your hopes up too high, because Ford officials were pretty clear that it doesn’t.

However, assuming that the dream of sustainable biofuels becomes a reality, the 2015 Ford Edge has a good chance of demonstrating that the EV aesthetic can translate back over into liquid fuel vehicle technology, so stay tuned.

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About the Author

Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.



  • Benjamin Nead

    Yeah, sorry, I don’t get it either. Clean Technica recently announced that there is so
    much EV news that it now authors posts with a hundred or so hyperlinks in them.

    Yet an entire article here is now devoted to . . . uh . . . a real life version of the
    Ford Petrola?!? . . .

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/ford-develops-new-suv-that-runs-purely-on-gasoline,33568/

  • http://www.michaeljberndtson.com/ Michael Berndtson

    I’m always behind on jargon. Everyone but me probably knows what advanced drop-in biofuels are, if not here’s how DOE describes them:

    “The goal for drop-in fuels is to meet existing diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel quality specifications and be ready to “drop-in” to existing infrastructure by being chemically indistinguishable from petroleum derived fuels. This minimizes infrastructure compatibility issues, which are a barrier to fast commercialization of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel.”

    http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/emerging_dropin_biofuels.html

    Drop-in biofuels sounds as descriptive as “shovel ready” for infrastructure project letting. Like all I have to do is cram yard waste and food scraps into my gas tank and off I go. Or step on a garden spade and a bridge is built.

    • No way

      The jargon in so different in different places too. It’s really hard to know what people mean when they just use a couple of words and hope people know what they mean.
      I’m used to calling it synthetic when chemically identical but derived in a different way than normal. So I call HVO-diesel which is a so called “drop-in fuel” just plainly synthetic diesel. it’s probably wrong, but most people at least understand what I mean :P

      • http://www.michaeljberndtson.com/ Michael Berndtson

        My thesis advisor in grad school once told me, “it’s not the science and math that’s hard, it’s the jargon.” And she was/is one of the smartest research engineers I’ve ever met.

  • JamesWimberley

    No thanks. All car manufacturers constantly improve the fuel efficiency of conventional ICE cars. This way you’ll have to report on every new car, losing the focus of the blog. More important, such improvements don’t offer a way out of the carbon trap, and just put off the day of the big switch. Please leave this sort of thing to other sites.

    It’s true that synfuels and biofuels – which are clearly green technology – will allow some ICEs indefinitely. But because of their high cost, this will be a niche: aviation is the largest one. Earthmoving equipment, requiring enormous torque, may be another. I’d like to know what’s happening in low-carbon shipping, beyond struggling Skysails.

    • sault

      I second your points on these types of efforts keeping us locked into the “carbon trap” and that biofuels can only supply niche markets unless there’s some huge breakthrough in their production.
      This article sounds a little too much like Ford Corporate PR and I’ve lost a little respect for CT given that they decided to publish it. Sure, Ford is doing some great things to save fuel and turn away from fossil fuels. And out of the “Big 3″ U.S. automakers, they would probably be the first brand I would consider if I couldn’t find a good Honda, Toyota or something like that (or if I can’t afford a Volt). However, you always need to take corporate PR with a grain of salt and I don’t see any bits of sodium chloride in this article at all. I could go to Ford’s own site to get this kind of info; I come to CT to get additional insight and connection to “green” issues that corporate PR won’t touch.

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