Eco-Friendly Painted Trucks Take to U.S. Highways
Ford Motor Co. and U-Haul have launched the industry’s first fleet of rental trucks painted with Ford’s new environmentally responsible technology that significantly reduces greenhouse gases over traditional automotive painting and saves the company’s production costs.
Two hundred Ford E-Series trucks painted with the new technology and tagged with eco-friendly decals are available for rental to U-Haul customers around the country. Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s vice president, North America Manufacturing, says Ford will monitor the U-Haul fleet over the next year to gather durability data that will help the company develop long-term rollout plans for the industry-first technology.
Ford’s new high-solids, solvent-borne paint formulation produces fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and CO2 emissions than current water-borne and solvent-borne paints. Because the new formulation contains more color pigment, it requires less paint to cover a vehicle than water-based paint. Ford’s laboratory tests show the high-solids, solvent-borne paint provides better long-term resistance to chips and scratches than does water-borne paint.
The new technology also allows for three coats of wet paint to be applied to the vehicle one on top of the other, without the prime-coat application and without drying between coats. New polymers and other additives prevent running and sagging. The streamlined process eliminates the need for an air-conditioning process or an additional low-temperature oven required in water-borne paint shops to evaporate the water from the paint.
Ford estimates it can save approximately $7 per vehicle by cutting painting time per vehicle by almost 20 percent and reducing the size of the traditional paint shop by nearly 15 percent.