Ford's new 2011 Explorer represents a huge leap forward over previous iterations of the Blue Oval's mid-size SUV. In terms of efficiency, the 2011 model trumps previous Explorers by leaps and bounds. On the inside, Ford's use of eco-friendly soy-based foam has helped the company reduce its annual petroleum usage by 10,500 barrels. In addition, the use of recycled fibers on the Explorer's seats and carpeted areas reduce energy consumption by a claimed 20 percent over the traditional method of using virgin fibers.
While all of these features make the Explorer more green, Ford's latest claim regarding the vehicle's recyclability leaves us scratching our collective heads. Ford claims the 2011 Ford Explorer is 85 percent recyclable. While the number sounds impressive, we got to thinking, aren't most cars this recyclable, even Bentleys? This has been true since 2007, at least, when USCAR issued a statement that over 95 percent of vehicles in the U.S. "go through a market-driven recycling infrastructure" at the end-of-life and that the process recycles around 84 percent of each vehicle. Green Car Advisor claims, "the official average for vehicle recycling is 80 percent." Heck, the Think City EV is 95 percent recyclable, blunting the impact of Ford's claim. Follow the jump to learn more about Ford's eco-friendlier 2011 Explorer.