Ford announced Wednesday that it plans to dedicate one of its largest research and development labs – the 285,000-square-foot Advanced Engineering Center in Dearborn, Michigan – to electrified vehicle development. The company has 1,000 engineers working on electrification, is hiring dozens more, and plans to triple production capacity for hybrids and EVs in 2012.
“Ford remains absolutely committed to providing a wide range of choices of top fuel economy solutions for our customers – from EcoBoost-powered gasoline vehicles and hybrids to plug-in hybrids and full electrics,” said Ford’s Mark Fields. “To meet growing demand for our fuel-efficient vehicles, we are continuing to invest in new jobs in the U.S. and converting our facilities for further advancements.”
Ford tends to lump all its “fuel-efficient” powertrains together for marketing purposes, so it’s not clear how much of this fine new facility will be devoted to true EVs as opposed to mere hybrids. But there’s no doubt that it will house an impressive team of engineers, many of whom have backgrounds in aerospace and computing.
“Working with such a diverse group makes it exciting and fun to come to work every day,” said James Gibbons, Ford’s manager of Battery Units for Hybrid Vehicles. “With this group, we never run out of fresh ideas or new ways to provide our customers with better fuel efficiency.”