Ford Motor Co. fired up some public-relations activity this week to highlight a number of advancements the company has made recently in the vehicle electrification arena, including $135 million in direct investment in its hybrid-electric platform.
In an effort to accelerate its hybrid and electric-vehicle development by as much as 25%, Ford is planning to double its battery-testing capabilities by next year, to a total of 160 individual battery-test channels. Ford is also dedicating more resources – such as a new 285,000-square-foot R&D lab in Dearborn, Mich. – to support the 1,000+ engineers who are working on vehicle electrification, the company says.
‘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.
The company is aiming to reduce the cost of its current hybrid system by 30%, compared to the previous generation of hybrids. Ford is also launching five electric vehicles this year: the Focus Electric, C-MAX Hybrid,Â C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid.