Ford continues to raise the profile of its hybrid and electric offerings, announcing this week that the building formerly known as the Advanced Engineering Center has been renamed the Ford Advanced Electrification Center. This 285,000-square-foot research and development lab in Dearborn, Michigan houses around 1,000 engineers, and dozens more are to be added in the year ahead. Ford announced in March that it would dedicate the entire facility to electrified vehicle development.
Ford plans to double its battery-testing capabilities by 2013, to a total of 160 individual battery-testing channels. These specialized machines can test and simulate everything from power and performance to life and thermal behavior over a wide range of temperatures and operating conditions. The expanded testing capabilities allow the team to quickly collect, analyze and apply vast amounts of data and – when needed – modify tests and make necessary changes. Projects are completed at least 25 percent faster than they were with previous-generation hybrids, according to Ford.
“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’s VP 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 facilities.”
Ford is launching five electrified vehicles this year: the Focus Electric EV, the C-MAX Hybrid, C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid.