Ford's Investment in Electrification Center of Excellence Delivers New
Jobs, Better Fuel Economy, More Choice
Ford now has more than 1,000 engineers working on vehicle
electrification its highest number ever; 60 engineers added in the
last year, dozens more to be added in the year ahead
Most of the 1,000 engineers are located under one roof at the newly
dedicated Advanced Electrification Center in Dearborn, Mich.
Ford is doubling its battery-testing capabilities by 2013, helping
accelerate its hybrid and electric vehicle development by as much as
By developing more technologies in-house through investments in
infrastructure and people, Ford is delivering more affordable and
fuel-efficient vehicles to its customers
DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 15, 2012 Ford is adding new green jobs,
doubling its battery-testing capabilities and speeding electrified
vehicles to market by at least 25 percent, creating even more
fuel-efficient choices for customers.
"The good news for customers is that they not only have more
choice, but they have faster access to Ford's latest and greatest in
fuel-saving technologies and vehicles," said Joe Bakaj, Ford vice
president of Powertrain Engineering. "This stems directly from
our decisions to deliver true power of choice by expanding our
dedicated electrified vehicle team and further investing in our
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
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
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 choice
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 to deliver leading fuel economy across its lineup and
triple electrified vehicle production capacity by 2013.
The five electrified vehicles Ford is launchingfall in line with its
goal of providing customers with power of choice when it comes to
fuel-efficient vehicles. The five electrified vehicles are:
Focus Electric: Production began late 2011; America's most
fuel-efficient compact with 110 MPGe city; charge time of four hours
with the available 240-volt charging station, which is nearly half the
time as Nissan Leaf
C-MAX Hybrid: EPA-certified to deliver 47 mpg highway, 47 mpg city
at least 3 mpg better than Toyota Prius v and 47 mpg combined with
more performance and technology, and all at a $1,300-lower base price
C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid: Coming this fall; a projected
electric-mode miles per gallon equivalent that is more than three
times that of Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid per EPA testing methods; 95
MPGe; total range of 550 miles
All-new Fusion Hybrid: Coming this fall; 47 mpg expected to beat
Toyota Camry Hybrid by 5 mpg highway
Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid: Will begin production by the end of
2012; aiming to be the most fuel-efficient midsize car in the world
More information about Ford's electrified vehicle lineup including
press releases, technical specifications and other related material
can be found online here.
Ford remains America's largest domestic producer of hybrid vehicles.
The company launched the Escape Hybrid in 2004 and Fusion Hybrid in
2010, with both delivering strong customer satisfaction and
industry-leading fuel economy, driving dynamics and durability.
Typical of the auto industry, Ford's early hybrids contained batteries
that involved third parties in everything from design to testing.
As the scope of Ford's hybrid program expanded, however, 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.
"Time is of the essence, especially when we have a specific
launch date," said Sankaran.
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
The expanded battery-testing capabilities allow the team to quickly
collect, analyze and apply vast amounts of 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.
Ford AEC: Past and present
The Ford Advanced Electrification Center, formerly the Advanced
Engineering Center, is located within the company's Henry and Edsel
Ford Research & Engineering Center, the 500-acre technical complex
in Dearborn that opened in 1953 and serves as the home for research
and engineering efforts.
It was constructed on the research campus in 1993 as part of an $84
million project that centered largely on noise, vibration and
harshness testing with several state-of-the-art labs within.
That changed in 2009. As Ford's investment in electrified vehicles
such as Fusion Hybrid increased, so did the size of the Sustainable
Mobility Technologies team behind it, said Chuck Gray, Ford chief
engineer, Global Core Engineering Hybrid and Electric Vehicles.
The rapid growth has not only brought together a large group of
talented and smart engineers, it has brought together innovators from
diverse backgrounds. Many have experience in aerospace working on
jets, rockets, missiles, satellites and unmanned aircraft. One
engineer even spent time in the driver's seat of the Goodyear Blimp.
"We know what it takes to build world-class hybrids and are
building on that expertise," said Kevin Layden, director, Ford
Electrification Programs and Engineering. "We're continuing to
invest so Ford can continue to lead in the delivery of top fuel
economy, durability and driving dynamics in our electrified