Ford offers environmental grants and discuss electric cars

Ford offers environmental grants and discuss electric cars

Ford’s Conservation and Environmental Grants section yesterday awarded money to two projects from the UAE aimed at the preservation of UAE’s coral reefs and the fight against the illegal trade of animals in the region. Anyone who applies for these ‘green’ grants is eligible to have their project looked at by a panel of environmental experts. We also brought up the topic of electric cars.

The Emirates Diving Association, with its project ‘Reef Check’, received US$ 9,000 from Ford to fund training programmes for volunteers and for the collection of data during the reef check surveys in Al Aqqa, Rul Dibba and Al Faqeet around the East coast. The Reef Check project collects scientific data important for the conservation of the marine environment but also provides volunteers information to understand the status of the UAE’s coral reefs and know the main threats.

International Fund for Animal Welfare embarked on the project ‘Reducing Illegal Wildlife Trade’ in the Middle East to which a grant of US$ 7,000 has been awarded in order to engage participants from the environment, fisheries and customs agencies in a specialised shark protection workshop, to bring an end to the shark-fin trade. Through various training workshops, IFAW aims to increase the level of knowledge of the species and awareness of threats to conservation.

The Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants is a grassroots-level programme that has offered US$ 100,000 in grants every year since 2000. An independent panel of nine expert jurors choose the winning projects that “demonstrated a well-defined sense of purpose, a commitment to maximising available resources, and a reputation for meeting objectives and delivering planned programmes and services.” The programme is open to applicants from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the United Arab Emirates. For enquiries regarding the Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants, drop an email at [email protected] with your green idea.

During this lunch event, we asked Ford’s Middle East Managing Director, Larry Prein, about the future of electric cars in the region. The 2012 Ford Focus Electric has been making headlines in the U.S. but we are told that it would be too expensive to be sold in this region. And electric cars are not yet suited to the hot weather here anyway, thereby cutting down on range by as much as half. As there are no government subsidies or charging infrastructure in place here, there is no business case for electric cars in the GCC yet. However, while petrol prices are dirt-cheap in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and even Oman, fuel prices in the UAE are going up, so these EVs might have a market here eventually. Ford’s current focus is on offering the EcoBoost turbo engines on more models soon.

What do you think?



  1. Ford is good people, they are really good. I respect them. They have an awesome Sat. Nav. system with great UI and wonderful transition effects.

  2. What about the coral reefs that were destroyed when they build the palm island in jumeirah? 😛

  3. For those interested to apply for the 2011 Grants, lookout for updates on and the Ford Middle East Facebook page in March/April.

  4. Please tell me how did the front bumper of an aston martin end up on a ford focus?? Seriously..

  5. Guys, stop this argument, lets be honest, there are tens or even hundreds of cars each year, and they are confined by rules of physics and design and aerodynamics ,,,, bla bla bla, so it is a normal thing for some cars to share some lines, the important thing (I think) is when you look at the Focus above you feel it is a natural evolution for the previous model. and beside that, this copying theory is always said about really beautiful cars, if the hyundai sonata really was copied from lexus es or any other cars, why dont other cars look as beautiful as the sonata? its all about looks so let other manufactures start designign or (copying) beautiful designs that appeal to people ….. enough said

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