Ford doubling investment in battery-testing to accelerate hybrid, EV development by 25%

Ford is investing $135 million in expanding its workforce and facilities in order to push out new technologies faster, allowing consumers quicker access to better fuel economy and technical upgrades and options.

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The workforce has been expanded to reach a staff of 1,000 engineers dedicated solely to vehicle electrification, which is the largest it has ever been. The Advanced Electrification Center in Dearbron, Michigan will be housing the research, where Ford is going to double its battery-testing capabilities by 2013. This will allow the automaker to increase the development of hybrid and electric vehicles by up to 25 percent.

This increase will lead to faster access of fuel-saving vehicles to consumers, a big jump in green jobs, and more affordable cars due to the in-house capabilities.

The five electrified vehicles Ford is launching this fall 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

– By: Alexandra Koken