Seems like Ford is dead set on making the Escape an SUV that even tree huggers can’t scoff at. In addition to raising its gas mileage, stuffing its seats with soy foam and trimming its interior with fabric made from recycled water bottles, Ford has just announced that the Escape’s interior door bolsters will be made from a tropical flower called the kenaf.
A Ford press release explains:
Kenaf is a tropical plant that looks similar to bamboo and is related to cotton. The plant replaces oil-based materials inside the doors of the all-new Ford Escape.
The use of kenaf is anticipated to offset 300,000 pounds of oil-based resin per year in North America; use of this eco-friendly material reduces the weight of the door bolsters by 25 percent. Weight savings translate into fuel savings for drivers. […]
The kenaf is combined with polypropylene in a 50-50 mixture inside the door of the Escape. International Automotive Components (IAC) manufactures the door bolsters in Greencastle, Ind. [more]
Lest you think that’s all Ford is doing to ensure its Escape appeals to hippies (and hoarders) worldwide, it’s also sound proofing the interior with recycled denim jeans and making its climate-control gaskets from old tires.
Personally, I’m all for cars becoming more eco-friendly. But the Ford Escape is beginning to sound like something Fred Sanford might drive.
All that’s missing are seats made from milk crates…