Ford has teamed up with Coca-Cola, but not to make some special edition of the F-150. Instead, the two have created a special version of the fuel-sipping Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid that has an interior covered in plastic bottles. Sort of.
Ford actually decided to use the PlantBottle technology owned by Coca-Cola that usually holds your soda these days, a plastic that more plant-based materials and fewer petroleum products. In this Fusion, the seats, door panels and headliner are made up of fabric derived from the plastic bottle material. According to Ford, it's the equivalent of 38.9 16-ounce bottles covering one Fusion interior, roughly the same number of bottles one comes back to the Hertz desk with.
Plant matter in Ford interiors is nothing new. The company has been making seat cushions out of soybeans for several years now, and those are already found in Fusions.
It's a great idea, as long as it doesn't feel too rough and recycled when you're actually sitting on it. But why do they feel the need to cover the outside of the car in leaves and the inside with some garish green carpeting. Fortunately, the Fusion's cup holders easily accommodate a Coke bottle, otherwise this whole joint venture would've gone south.
The bottle-upholstered Fusion is just a research vehicle for now, but don't be surprised if production cars in the near future adopt technology like this. Which is great if you're buying an environmentally minded car, anyway.