The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Ford Boosts Investment in Hybrid and EV Technologies

August 16, 2012

The 2013-MY Fusion Energi.
The 2013-MY Fusion Energi.

DEARBORN, MI – Ford is investing in its hybrid and electric vehicle technologies in order to improve the speed that it can deliver electrified vehicles to the market. The company is investing on a number of fronts, in its battery testing capabilities and in the design, engineering and production of key electrified-vehicle components.

As part of this effort, Ford is dedicating a 285,000-square-foot research and development lab in Dearborn, Mich., to hybrid and electrification technology. The company is renaming its Advanced Engineering Center the Ford Advanced Electrification Center. Ford stated it plans to hire “dozens” more engineers to work on electrified vehicle technology over the next few years to build its team, adding to the 1,000 engineers already working on these technologies.

One area Ford has found efficiencies and ways to reduce costs is by bringing development and production of electrified vehicles in-house. For example, doubling its own battery-test capabilities means Ford doesn’t have to search for the right supplier, with the right equipment, to perform specific types of tests. Ford is investing in specialized machines that can test and simulate battery behavior over a range of operating temperatures. This effort allows the team to quickly collect and analyze data related to battery testing, completing tests 25% faster than they could when engineering previous-generation hybrid technologies.

Results from Ford’s focus on electrified vehicle technologies have so far reduced the cost of the company’s new hybrid system by 30% when compared with the previous generation system, the company stated.

The automaker stated it’s investing a total of $135 million in the design, engineering, and production of key components for electrified vehicles going into production this year, including the Focus Electric, the C-MAX Hybrid, the C-MAX Energi, the all-new Fusion Hybrid, and Fusion Energi, which launch in the fall.

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