Aug 7, 2007

Ford and U-Haul launch industry-first fleet of eco-friendly painted vehicles in U.S.

Traverse City, Michigan – Ford Motor Company and U-Haul are putting into service the industry’s first fleet of vehicles painted with Ford’s new technology, which reduces greenhouse gases by 15 per cent and cuts production costs. Some 200 E-Series trucks have been delivered to U-Haul facilities around the U.S.; U-Haul will begin renting the units, tagged with “eco-friendly” decals, to customers this week.

The technology combines an advanced chemical formulation of high-solids, solvent-borne paint with an innovative three-wet application process that requires a smaller, less expensive and cleaner paint shop than traditional paint facilities. Ford will monitor the U-Haul fleet over the next year to gather durability data, which the company says will help it develop long-term rollout plans for the technology.

In addition to reduced CO2 emissions, the new technology reduces volatile organic compounds by about 10 per cent, and does not require an air conditioning process or additional low-temperature oven, which are needed in water-borne paint shops. The company estimates that by reducing the time used to paint a vehicle, as well as reducing the size of the traditional shop, it can save approximately US$7.00 per vehicle. The technology won “Best Technical Prize” at the International Conference on Automobile Body Finishing in Cannes, France in June.

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