Sustainability Report infographic by Ford Motors

On EVs and batteries—global motoring brands set sights and goals on an electric future

Ford Motor Company recently announced its own share of environmental goals.  The blue oval brand plans to achieve carbon neutrality globally by 2050, while setting interim targets to more urgently address climate change challenges.

Ford’s announcement came along with its 21st annual Sustainability Report, and making it the only full line US automaker committed to doing its part to reduce CO2 emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and working with California for stronger vehicle greenhouse gas standards.

Carbon neutrality refers to achieving zero carbon emissions by balancing such emissions with carbon removal. To achieve its goal, Ford will focus initially on three areas that account for approximately 95% of its CO2 emissions—vehicle use, its supply base and the company’s facilities. Ford said it is setting the 2050 goal fully aware of challenges, including customer acceptance, government regulations, economic conditions and the availability of renewable, carbon-neutral electricity and renewable fuels.

“We can develop and make great vehicles, sustain and grow a strong business and protect our planet at the same time—in fact, those ideals complement each other,” said Bob Holycross, Ford vice president, chief sustainability, environment and safety officer. “We don’t have all the answers yet, but are determined to work with all of our global and local partners and stakeholders to get there.”

Ford’s 2050 commitment represents its continuing efforts for more environment-friendly performance for its products and operations. In 2019, the company expanded its climate strategy to find more effective ways to integrate the wants and needs of people and its business, along with the possibilities of technology, by applying human-centered design-thinking. A cross-functional Ford team from around the world—including the United States, Europe and China—developed the company’s carbon-neutral approach after analyzing information on the environment, customers, technology, legislation, energy, competitive approaches, life-cycle assessments and other trends.

Ford is investing more than $11.5 billion in electric vehicles (EVs) through 2022, introducing zero-emission versions of some of its most popular nameplates, including the Mustang Mach-E, which starts arriving in dealerships this year, as well as a Transit Commercial EV and fully electric F-150 coming within 24 months.

The company previously announced its plan to use 100% locally sourced renewable energy for all its manufacturing plants globally by 2035. That means energy would come only from sources that naturally replenish—such as hydropower, geothermal, wind or solar.

SAIC-GM-Wuling’s power station built on retired batteries

Meanwhile, the SAIC-GM-Wuling group has introduced a solution that is extending the life of its EV batteries to benefit society. GM’s joint venture recently put into operation Guangxi province’s first cascading energy storage power station utilizing retired EV batteries at the company’s Baojun base in Liuzhou. The facility stores wind and solar energy as well as energy from the grid generated during non-peak hours for use by the grid to relieve pressure during peak hours of consumption.

The power station is using old batteries from the development of SAIC-GM-Wuling’s Baojun E100 and E200 EVs. The facility has up to 1,000 kWh of storage capacity, with rated power of 250 kW. 

Baojun’s new EV: Charging time of 1 hour, range of 305 km

The auto industry is indeed heading closer to zero emission society when it comes to mobility as newer EVs are being introduced every year. Just recently, Baojun launched in China the E300 and E300 Plus EVs, which have a range of 305 km. The E300 family has a synchronous fixed ratio gearbox and rear-engine layout, generating 40 kW of maximum power and 150 Nm of maximum torque. It has a top speed of 100 kph and supports DC fast charging, which enables it to be fully charged in one hour.

The E300 is 2,625 mm long, 1,647 mm wide and 1,588 mm high, and has a 1,750-mm wheelbase. It’s available with a choice of two or three seats. The larger E300 Plus is 2,894 mm long, 1,655 mm wide and 1,595 mm high, and has a 2,020-mm wheelbase. It comes with four seats. Both have a McPherson independent suspension and double wishbone independent suspension design, for a comfortable ride.

They inherit Baojun’s new interstellar geometry design language. Their futuristic-looking two-tone avant-garde split body styling is instantly recognizable and will appeal to younger consumers. Five body colors – Starry White, Starry Sky Powder, Starship Gray, Interstellar Blue and Star Flame Red – are available.

All E300 models have height-adjustable and time-delayed shutdown functional headlights, concealed door handles, sparkling aluminum wheels, a touchscreen multifunction steering wheel and an interior incorporating eco-friendly materials. The driver and passenger seats are four-way adjustable, creating flexible seating space.

The nameplate is also available with Baojun’s intelligent connectivity system. The artificial intelligence voice interaction system, real-time road navigation, voice-control WeChat function and mobile app make driving more convenient and enjoyable.

Safety features are electronic stability control (ESC), anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), hydraulic brake assist (HBA), and dual front air bags. More than 80% of the body consists of high-strength steel. The battery pack is also wrapped in super-strong steel and equipped with an active power-off system for extra protection in the event of a collision.

Cadillac, on the other hand, is set to usher the Lyriq to mark the beginning of a new chapter for the brand—one that is all-electric and redefines the boundaries and limits of mobility and connectivity. Today, Cadillac is laying the groundwork for this brighter future by rethinking the interaction between the driver and the vehicle. This is evident in the all-new Escalade with impressive technologies like the first curved OLED in the industry, the industry’s first AKG studio reference system and Super Cruise.  The online global premiere will be on August 6, 2020 (News excerpts and photos courtesy of the Ford Motor Company, General Motors, SAIC, Baojun, and Cadillac)