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Ford sponsors MIT energy fellows

Automaker first to join MIT Energy Initiative, a group focused on using technology to solve global energy problems.

Ford Motor is sponsoring two fellowships to study energy technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as part of a five-year initiative, both organizations have announced.

Two Ford Alliance Energy fellows will study technology to improve power-train and fuel-efficiency technology for vehicles.

Ford is the first "Sustaining Member" to become part of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), a group established in November 2006 for the purpose of studying global energy problems.

"As the first mover for the automotive technologies of the 20th century, Ford Motor Company transformed the world. This research collaboration is designed to support Ford's commitment to providing similar transformational technologies for a new century," Professor Ernest Moniz, director of MITEI, said in a statement.

The automaker has been testing a lot of different types of energy alternatives and solutions through pilot programs.

In July Ford confirmed that it had developed a more fuel-efficient gas engine and also launched a program with Southern California Edison electric utility company to test hybrid plug-in vehicles. Then, in August, the city of Las Vegas added two Ford hydrogen buses to its tourist fleet.