Ford Diesel Focus Possible for North American Market
Ford Motor Company is seriously studying plans to offer a diesel-powered Ford Focus for sale in North America within the next five years as a way to deliver to customers more powertrain choices and gr...
Ford Motor Company is seriously studying plans to offer a diesel-powered Ford Focus for sale in North America within the next five years as a way to deliver to customers more powertrain choices and greater fuel economy improvements.
Diesel technology has advanced in recent years to the point that diesel engines compare very favorably with gasoline engines on many consumer-driven attributes, such as noise, performance and emissions. Today’s modern diesel is clean, quiet and nearly odorless.
While Ford believes diesels should be part of the North American product mix, the company is not seeking any changes in emissions standards to deliver diesel cars to North American consumers. Ford will provide diesel light vehicles only if a way is found to meet the EPA’s stringent Tier II emissions rules.
Achieving Tier II emissions standards requires further improvements in engine and fuel systems and exhaust aftertreatment technology. A way to manage nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions also needs to be achieved. Among the solutions being studied is a NOx absorber-type catalyst and a co-fueling of diesel and urea, an ammonia-based compound, to reduce NOx emissions. Ford is working to develop an aftertreatment technology that will reduce the issues surrounding particulate matter and health concerns.
Ford currently is testing a diesel Focus using the co-fueling system as a way to achieve Tier II standards. This system uses a very efficient NOx reduction catalyst and a soot-trapping particulate filter. The catalyst uses the ammonia to remove NOx from the exhaust. The chemical urea, in a water solution, is a convenient way to provide ammonia and is automatically sprayed on to the catalyst as needed. The urea – stored on board in a small bottle, like windshield washer fluid – is odorless and non-flammable.
In addition, Ford is testing a small U.S. fleet of Focus TDCi vehicles – the same cars now on sale in Europe – to help build awareness and demonstrate improvements made in diesel technology.
Diesel technology offers advantages in fuel efficiency in the range of 25 percent to 30 percent over a gasoline vehicle. This fuel economy improvement translates into a 20 percent to 25 percent reduction in CO2.