CHICAGO - Ford Motor Co. said it is delivering on its 2006 pledge to double the number of flexible-fuel vehicles produced in the U.S. by the end of 2010.
Ford produced nearly 185,000 MY 2006 flexible-fuel vehicles.
Ford said it plans to expand its fleet of flexible-fuel vehicles to 50 percent of vehicle production by 2012, as long as incentives continue to encourage the manufacturing, distribution and availability of renewable fuels, and the production of flexible-fuel vehicles.
Flexible-fuel vehicles can run on E-85 (a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline), gasoline or any mixture of the two fuels.
Sue Cischke, Ford's group vice president for sustainability, environment and safety engineering, discussed the automaker's plans at the 2010 BIO International Convention in Chicago.
"Flexible-fuel vehicles are a great alternative for our customers because they provide owners with the option to choose between using E-85 and gasoline when filling up a car," Cischke said. "Ethanol and other biofuels also help reduce the county's dependence on imported oil."
The development and use of renewable fuels helps reduce America's dependence on imported oil. More ethanol is now produced and used in the U.S. than the amount of gasoline made from oil imported by the U.S. from Saudi Arabia and Iraq combined.
Ford currently offers 11 flexible-fuel vehicles in the U.S. They include the Ford Escape, Fusion, F-150, Crown Victoria, Expedition and E-Series; the Lincoln Navigator and Town Car; and the Mercury Milan, Grand Marquis and Mariner.
Ford said it will continue to build products capable of running on renewable fuels such as biodiesel and E-85 ethanol. This includes the new 2011 Super Duty, which is offered with two bio-fuel options, a diesel engine that operates on B-20 biodiesel or a conventional engine that operates on E-85.
"Flexible-fuel vehicles are one of the many environmental technologies Ford is providing customers," said Cischke. "In addition to biofuels, we also are working on a range of other advanced fuel-efficient technologies, including EcoBoost engines, six-speed transmissions, clean diesel and electrified vehicles."
Ford has also announced an aggressive plan to bring next-generation hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure battery-electric vehicles to market. Ford's plan calls for five new electrified vehicles in the next three years in North America and Europe, beginning with the Transit Connect Electric, which debuts later this year in the U.S.