DEARBORN—Ford is investing in Electrification Center of Excellence, adding new green jobs, doubling its battery-testing capabilities and speeding electrified vehicles to market by at least 25 percent, creating more fuel-efficient choices for customers.
Ford is investing $135 million in the design, engineering and production of key components – including advanced battery systems – for its next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles going into production this year.
For example, Ford’s battery-testing capabilities will double by 2013 – to a total of 160 individual battery-test channels. This includes investing in more of the highly specialized machines that can test and simulate everything from power and performance to life and thermal behavior over a complete range of temperatures and possible operating conditions.
Also, Ford is dedicating a 285,000-square-foot research and development lab in Dearborn, Mich., to focus almost entirely on hybrids and electrification. The building formerly known as the Advanced Engineering Center is renamed the Ford Advanced Electrification Center and houses most of the 1,000 engineers working on hybrid and electrification programs.
Ford continues to build its electrified team with 60 engineers hired in the past year and dozens more positions to be filled this year.
Power of choiceâ€¨ customers benefit from Ford’s investments in two ways – more fuel-efficient vehicle options and even better value. Ford is reducing the cost of its current hybrid system by 30 percent versus the company’s previous-generation system. Plus, Ford is launching five electrified vehicles this year as part of its power of choice strategy and triple electrified vehicle production capacity by 2013.
The five electrified vehicles Ford is launching fall. The five electrified vehicles are:
Focus Electric: Production began late 2011; 110 MPGe city.
C-MAX Hybrid: EPA-certified to deliver 47 mpg highway, 47 mpg city.
C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid: Coming this fall; 95 MPGe; total range of 550 miles
All-new Fusion Hybrid: Coming this fall; 47 mpg.
Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid: Will begin production by the end of 2012.
Ford found new efficiencies by bringing research, development and production of electrified vehicles in-house, said Anand Sankaran, Ford executive technical leader, Energy Storage and HV Systems.
Ford’s doubling of its battery-testing capabilities is one example of how crucial time is maximized as the company no longer has to search for the right supplier with the right equipment to quickly perform specific tests.
The expanded battery-testing capabilities allow the team to quickly collect, analyze and apply data and – when needed – modify tests and easily adapt necessary changes. Projects are completed at least 25 percent faster than they were with previous-generation hybrids, Sankaran said.