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Ford accelerates carbon-free manufacturing with South Africa and Thailand solar initiatives

Ford Motor Company is advancing its commitment to sustainability, aiming to source 100% carbon-free electricity for global manufacturing by 2035. In 2023, the automaker achieved 70.5% of carbon-free electricity use in its global manufacturing operations.

Key to this progress are Ford’s solar power projects at its Ranger and Everest production facilities in South Africa and Thailand. These projects include the largest solar canopy carparks in Africa, located at the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, and in Thailand, at Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM).

“Solar canopy carparks are an incredibly exciting opportunity for Ford as they allow us to make use of spaces that would otherwise have limited use,” said Andrea Cavallaro, Director of Operations at Ford’s International Market Group. “Car parks have incredible potential for photovoltaic systems, converting solar energy into electricity. The advantage is that they provide shelter for finished vehicles from the rain and excessive heat while also providing power for nearby facilities.”

The Silverton Assembly Plant’s 13.5-megawatt solar carport, completed in 2022, provides parking for over 3,500 vehicles and supplies 18% of the electricity required to produce each Ranger, enabling the production of more than 20,800 Rangers annually using solar power.

Similarly, FTM’s recently activated 7.7-megawatt solar carport shelters over 1,500 vehicles and reduces annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 5,700 tons. This system contributes up to 20% of the energy needed to produce each Ranger and Ranger Raptor, allowing the production of around 21,000 vehicles annually on solar power alone.

Auto Alliance Thailand is also expanding its solar capabilities, planning an 8-megawatt floating solar energy array near its Rayong facility, set to go online in September. This project will offset over 5,400 tons of CO2 emissions annually, supplementing the plant’s existing 6-megawatt solar project and making it Ford’s largest solar energy user in the region with 14 megawatts.

“At Ford, we’re focused on environmental quality; both in terms of what we build and how we build,” said Cavallaro. “We’ve continued to push ourselves to conserve water, reduce waste, and transition to carbon-free electricity in manufacturing. Initiatives like solar canopy carparks and floating solar farms are an incredibly vital part of our Road to Better commitment, which helps build a more sustainable, inclusive, and equitable transportation future.”

Cavallaro highlighted the dual benefits of these systems: utilizing otherwise unused space while reducing reliance on fossil fuels, contributing significantly to Ford’s ongoing efforts to build a better world.


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