Driving Innovation: The Coca-Cola Company and Ford Unveil Ford Fusion Energi with PlantBottle Technology™ Interior


PlantBottle Technology™ from Coca-Cola is applied for the first time beyond PET packaging as part of the interior fabric of a Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid research vehicle

• The Fusion Energi research vehicle uses PlantBottle Technology™ for seat cushions, backs, headrests, door panel inserts and headliners

• Fabric made from PlantBottle Technology™ is made of up to 30 percent plant-based materials, showing broad potential of two global consumer icons leveraging renewable materials to help replace petroleum and other fossil fuels used for traditional PET fabric

ATLANTA and DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 15, 2013 – The Coca-Cola Company and Ford Motor Company are fueling more sustainable design by collaborating on a first-ever interior fabric made from the same renewable material used to produce Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle™ packaging.

The two companies today unveiled a Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid with Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle Technology interior fabric surfaces covering seat cushions, backs, headrests, door panel inserts and headliners. The research vehicle marks the first time PlantBottle technology is applied beyond packaging, and affirms a joint commitment by two global consumer icons to develop innovative, new products produced from renewable materials.

“By using PlantBottle Technology in a plug-in hybrid, Ford and Coca-Cola are showing the broad potential of leveraging renewable materials that help replace petroleum and other fossil fuels, reducing the overall environmental impact of future vehicles,” said John Viera, global director of sustainability and vehicle environmental matters at Ford.

The collaboration also demonstrates the positive influence that comes from combining two of the most recognizable and respected brands in the world. The Cola-Cola Company and Ford together reach consumers in more than 200 countries on six continents.

The Ford Fusion Energi vehicle will be on display later this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The idea behind the vehicle was launched last year when Ford and Coca-Cola research teams came together to explore innovation opportunities in more sustainable products. Both companies use PET, a durable lightweight plastic also known as polyethylene terephthalate, in a variety of products including plastic bottles, fabrics and carpets. This provided a natural opportunity to bring together both recyclable and renewable technologies.

Since The Coca-Cola Company introduced PlantBottle Technology to the market in 2009 as the first ever recyclable PET plastic bottle made partially from plants, more than 400,000 barrels of oil have been saved due to more than 18 billion PlantBottle packages that have been distributed in 27 countries worldwide. If PlantBottle interior fabrics were migrated across the majority of U.S. Ford vehicles, it would displace nearly four million pounds of petroleum derived materials, as well as save the equivalent of 295,000 gallons of gasoline and 6,000 barrels of oil.

“This collaboration with Ford demonstrates that PlantBottle Technology can be applied anywhere that PET plastic is traditionally used, but with a lighter footprint on the planet,” said Scott Vitters, general manager, PlantBottle Packaging Platform, The Coca-Cola Company. “We are pleased to share this technology with Ford, and look forward to continuing to expand the application of PlantBottle Technology.”

The PlantBottle-Fusion Energi initiative is also encouraged by the World Wildlife Fund, which advises companies to look for alternatives to fossil fuels.

“The Coca-Cola Company and Ford Motor Company partnership is a great example of scaling positive change,” said Erin Simon, Manager, Business & Industry, Packaging & Material Science, World Wildlife Fund. “This atypical partnership is a great model of what is required from industry as we address challenging global issues putting our planet at risk.”

Building upon the success of PlantBottle Technology, Ford was able to produce the first-ever fiber that could be woven into durable, automotive grade PET fabric from PlantBottle material. The Fusion Energi, a fuel-efficient, plug-in hybrid version of Ford’s global mid-size car, was determined to be the perfect vehicle in which to test the material.

The Fusion Energi is Ford’s most fuel-efficient sedan with an EPA-rated total range of up to 620 miles and the ability to drive up to 21 miles in electric-only mode – which could help save customers an estimated $6,850 in fuel costs compared with an average new car over the course of five years. It also offers the latest generation of SmartGauge® with EcoGuide designed to monitor and influence driving behavior to improve vehicle efficiency and help drivers get the most from their car.

The PlantBottle material integration builds on today’s 2014 Fusion‘s environmental innovations, which showcase a variety of more sustainable materials throughout the vehicle, including:
• Sound-absorbing denim material equivalent to more than two averaged-size pairs of denim jeans in the vehicle’s carpetliner
• Material equivalent to 38.9 clear-plastic 16-ounce recycled bottles in select cloth-seat Fusion models
• About 31,250 soybeans in the foam found in the Fusion’s seat cushions. Today, Ford uses soy foam in every vehicle built in North America. Since its first application in 2007, Ford’s use of soy foam has reduced petroleum production by more than 5 million pounds and carbon dioxide emissions by 20 million pounds annually.

Source: Ford Motor Company and The Coca-Cola Company