Rice Hull- Reinforced Plastic turns the 2014 Ford F-150 a little more eco image

We are not really sure if plastic keeps along the “Built Ford Tough” way, but certainly the F-150 doesn’t lack the necessary “oomph” to compensate the usage of rice hull-reinforced plastic in an electrical harness.

Beating years and years the competition (yes, we-re looking at GM and Chrysler) sure could become dull, but the strong F-150 pick-up truck sure doesn’t look to have become bored, as the Ford engineers keep it entertained year after year with new technology – and for the 2014 F-150 it’s time to get an update on the eco-friendly low CO2 emissions side.

While word of mouth has it that the next generation of the American pick-up will come with an aluminum body that will revolutionize the truck industry, for the time being the Ford people tend to be concerned with lowering the fuel consumption and the CO2 emissions.

Ford is using plastic reinforced with rice hulls – a byproduct of rice grain – in an electrical harness in the 2014 F-150. The company will need at least 45,000 pounds of hulls in the first year. This material adds to the list of eco-friendly materials already employed on the F-150, like soybeans and post-industrial recycled cotton – for example, one 2014 Ford F-150 truck uses the equivalent of about 10 pairs of jeans, 26 bath towels or 31 T-shirts as carpet insulation or sound absorber.

“The 2014 F-Series exemplifies our continued efforts to use recycled content in our vehicles,” said John Viera, Ford global director of sustainability and vehicle environmental matters. “We can have greater impact in this case because of the size and sales volume of this product.”

The rice hulls are sourced from farms in Arkansas and will replace a talc-based reinforcement in a polypropylene composite.