US carmaker Ford is increasing its engineering workforce and doubling its battery testing capabilities over the next year to support the development of more electric vehicle technologies in-house.
The company now has more than 1000 engineers working on vehicle electrification technologies at its newly refocused 285,000-square-foot RD Advanced Electrification Center in Dearborn, Michigan.
Ford says it is investing $135 million in the design, engineering and production of key systems for electric vehicles, including batteries for its next generation of hybrid electric vehicles going into production this year.
By ramping up its in-house capabilities, Ford says it will speed up the time to get electric vehicles to market by more than 25%.
“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,” says Joe Bakaj, Ford’s vice president of powertrain engineering.
Ford says it is reducing the cost of its current hybrid system by 30% compared with its predecessor and plans to launch five electrified vehicles this year, including the Focus Electric, the C-MAX Hybrid and the all new Fusion Hybrid.
“We know what it takes to build world-class hybrids and are building on that expertise,” says Kevin Layden, director of Ford’s electrification programmes. “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 vehicles.”
For further information:
BMW and Toyota to expand collaboration on vehicle technologies (2-Jul)
Tesla rolls out first electric sedans to Californian customers (26-Jun)
BMW, Ford and IKEA among companies helping deploy electric vehicles in US (22-Jun)
Saab to be restarted as electric carmaker (15-Jun)
Article source: http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/5333/