Ford Center of Excellence for Vehicle Electrification

By Ford Social Member

Ford is gearing up for the new hybrids that are part of the Ford plan to launch five electrified vehicles in the U.S. by 2012 and in Europe by 2013. Part of that acceleration is the creation of a center of excellence for vehicle electrification where the company will design, engineer and produce key components for its next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles.

Ford engineers in Dearborn will design the battery packs while engineers in Livonia, Michigan, will design electric-drive transaxles for the next-generation hybrids, based on global Ford C- and CD-car platforms.

The Ford Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, will assemble the battery packs beginning in 2012, moving work to Michigan that is currently performed in Mexico by a supplier. Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, will build the electric drive transaxles beginning in 2012 from a supplier facility in Japan. Ford is adding a combined 170 jobs at the Rawsonville and Van Dyke facilities to build these key components.

“Electrified vehicles are a key part of our plan to offer a full lineup of green vehicles, and we are building a center of excellence in the U.S., here in Michigan, to keep Ford on the cutting edge,” said Mark Fields, Ford President of The Americas. “Today’s announcement is another important step in our larger strategy to launch a family of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles around the world.”

The creation of a center of excellence for vehicle electrification in Michigan now includes the design and manufacture of electrified key components as well as total vehicle manufacturing for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles. Ford is adding more than 50 engineers to work on electrification as we bring these technologies in-house. By physically bringing research, engineering and manufacturing closer together, Ford, its suppliers, universities and related industries can drive both innovation and job growth in this evolving form of transportation.

Ford Global Electric vehicles plan

Ford electrification strategy involves three types of electrified vehicles – hybrid electric, all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric – to provide consumers with significant fuel economy improvements and reduced CO2 emissions without compromising the driving experience

Ford’s electrification strategy will deliver a suite of electrified vehicles to market by 2012, including:
  • Ford Transit Connect Electric small commercial van in 2011

  • Ford Focus Electric passenger car in 2012

  • Two next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles in 2013

  • Plug-in hybrid in 2013

The electrification strategy builds on the Ford vision of bringing affordable fuel-efficient technology to millions. This strategy will deliver a suite of electrified vehicles to a variety of markets and build on the company’s overall vision of offering the widest possible range of technology solutions – instead of a single vehicle or technology – to improve fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions for customers around the world.
Hemant 10/17/2010
You should read a little before you spout off. Ford didn't take any bailout money.
Chris Campbell 08/16/2010
I would love to drive an electric car. Clean, efficient, quiet, and simple. Electric motors used to be big and heavy, but now we have them all over our cars. These operate power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, power seats. Only 1 moving part, and it is rotating instead of reciprocating - less wear, more power, more efficient. Sure, it makes sense to be able to get a long operating radius with a quick regeneration - gasoline and Diesel excel at that - but with enough consumer demand, the electrics will solve that problem. I think having Toyota and Ford competing in this arena is the right answer. Toyota is great at bringing new technology to the market, and Ford is great at focusing on what American drivers want. Anyway, I live and work in a small midwestern city, so one electric with an operating radius of 150 or 160 miles would be perfect. I would keep a 300+ mile vehicle for the longer trips. Once electrics can do that with less than a half hour recharge, I will get one. I would gladly drive an electric back in the northeast, where having to stop for tolls and being forced to operate at a crawl speed wouldn't waste my fuel. With an electric, there really isn't any idling, so going slow gets the same or better energy cost per mile as going fast. Buy an electric? You bet.
keith 07/28/2010
There are many reasons to favor a electric car as part of the automotive product mix, and we all have dreams for advances in battery technology. But a 10 minute fill-up isn't practical under any scenario. A typical electric car battery has about 24 KW-h energy capacity, and to fill it in 10 minutes requires supplying power from a 144 KW source (24 x 6). A house with its 100 amp service (at, say, 240) volts is capable of consuming at most 24 KW before its breakers take it offline. I can't imagine the electric car service station that would provide 144 KW to, say 4 electric cars simultaneously. The load placed on the electrical grid by even one such station would be the equivalent of dozens of houses, and it would require major grid re-engineering to accommodate any significant number of them.

This is the one reason why Project Better Place makes so much sense.
Tom 07/27/2010
We don't need to replace the gas car, We need a low price elect car for us to use to & from work . (not hybrid.) This will take about 1/2 the gas cars off the road ,will reduce the price of gas and the Co2, but it looks like the U.S. Automakers are going to let China & Japan win again!. If We do replace 1/2 the gas cars, The U.S. could be on the road to energy independance, this is the only way the U.S. will be strong again, and stop the loss of America's wealth to the Middle East.
LBC_ev 07/18/2010
Something for the EV critics to ponder:

The battery - Unlike lead acid and nickel metal hydride batteries, Lithium ion batteries do not contain heavy metals and so have a much lower toxicity than the batteries currently used in cars like the Prius. These batteries are also highly recyclable, so trade-in of a used battery 8-10 years down the road should be able to offset some of the cost to battery replacement.

The range - A fully charged battery with 80-100 miles will get me 2-3 days of commuting at much less cost and with much greater efficiency than my current ICE. For the infrequent roadtrip, we could either take my wife's car or rent a car at about $30/day - which we already do to keep the mileage off of our cars. For me this is not an issue so electric makes perfect sense. If you drive 100+ a day or have only one car in your family, we're just not there yet; so let the early adopters help to prove and develop the technology so that in ten years you have you 300+ mile range and 15 minute charge time.

The environmental argument - In CA, where our energy production mix is nuclear+hydroelectric+coal+wind+solar (roughly in that order), EVs are much more environmentally sound than ICE counterparts. That said, even in states with 100% coal fired power you would see an environmental benefit by using a BEV because pollution will be controlled at a single source vs. millions of tail pipes with emissions controls at varying levels of functionality. Also, the energy use is more efficient (90%) with an electric motor. With an ICE, you lose something like 60% of the energy available in gasoline when the fuel is burned.

I'm happy to see Ford and GM moving in the right direction. If they continued to invest in antiquated technologies they will create a space for more aggressive Japanese, Korean and (dare I say it) Chinese competitors to capture this market. It's too bad that Nissan has such a leg up on them with the LEAF; I would have liked to have more than one car to consider. But for all you USA hawks out there, the LEAF will be built in Tennessee starting in 2012. A few of us will have to buy Japanese to make sure those folks get their plant.
Jack 07/10/2010
If I must wait until 2012 to by A ford electric, I might as well by a Nissan LEAF .
Kevin Tisdale 06/14/2010
Thank you Ford Motor Company! I have been an advocate of alternative power for vehicles. What you have said here and what I have read in other publications, gives me great hope that when I go to replace my 2004 F-150 in 2013, that I can finally get a plug-in hybrid. Please do not let this be just another " Free Beer Tomorrow " type of media press release. I have been reading those since the 70's oil crisis. The new and improved is always two to three years out. (tomorrow). I will have a plug-in hybrid truck someday, I just hope it has a blue oval like the last 30 years has.
jakorpi 06/13/2010
What's so important about driving large vehicles. A Ford Explorer will always use more energy than a Focus. Our electric power is currently generated natural gas, coal, or nuclear power. Until we find a way to generate electricity with no environmental impact, the larger the electric vehicle the more environmental harm it will do. Europeans have learned to live with small vehicles because of high fuel prices, and their life style is just fine. We would be smart to act as if gas costs $5/gallon now in order to minimize the hardship when it does.
Lynn 06/08/2010
I would like to see engineering of energy from methane gas conversion of good ole "poop of the people". It's a renewal resource that we dump in our precious water and it is something that burns. I say "flush and fly", just remove the stinky part.
Of this century, I agree with Greg, we would need some way to change out the batteries at stops along the way. I believe our Gov of Fla was predicting conversion of interstate gas stations to this avail; We must change our ways, or nature will change it for us.... .
Braedon 06/07/2010
I Agree with you Hydrogen is the way to go. I had to do a paper on alternative energy's and the books i read made it sound like a simple conversion kit to alter a regular internal combustion engine so it could be used wide not just new vehicles. Hyrogen would run very simlar to nautal gas engines so the tech is already out there.
Mike P 06/05/2010
dude listen theres so much oil left that were going to run out in atleast a thousand years and furthermore the gulf of mexico oil spill, by the way nice $ as the s very cute, seriously i bet youre the first person ever to come up with that, but anyways if it hadnt been for environmentalists like you, there would have been no spill. All the little environmentalists who care about the little baby seaturtules and are completely oblivious to the fact that we have a demanding economy, went and told, with millions of dollars, their politicians and bam! next thing you know, no offshore drilling. Only deepwater. Do you understand the implications of that? Deep water driling is like shooting herion while flying a jumbo jet. Sure things might not go worng, but they probably aare! so the environmentalists made the oil companies move to where the water is so deep people cant even go down to fix a burst pipe which would be fixed in an hour if the drill had been offshore not deep sea, so you see environemtalists, with their smug self appointed wit, cause much more problems than they cause
mike p 06/05/2010
dude youre the man! go ford toyota is little china boys nothing else
Bryan 06/05/2010
I have a background in engineering and I too think the pure electric car isn't close to ready come to market. When it takes 8 hours to charge it and it goes under 200 miles, it is a local car and that's about it. Cute for those that live in a city, but you can never take a road trip in it or live anywhere out in the country. There are ways to capture electrical energy and transport it, but a battery isn't it right now. Not even close. How about a hydrogen fuel cell rather than a battery? Honda has their aim on that technology and it shows real promise.
Greg 06/02/2010
Is there any chance that the battery could be standardized for all cars and then be changed out for a fully charged battery at a "filling station" so you wouldn't have to wait for long charges when taking a longer trip? I have no idea if this could be a possibility.
Jack 06/01/2010
First, I would like to say that I support this alternative energy race in the auto sector. I am personally not sure if electric, bio fuels, hydrogen, or any other idea for energy is the est way to approach this challenge facing America and the rest of the world. But to bring it back to the EV market, I really hope the engineers and developers are looking at more than just how far a car can go on a single electric charge or even how much carbon dioxide reductions that these cars will have by not driving on traditionally fossil fuels. There is more impact that these vehicles have. What about the impact of making these batteries and then when they die and need replaced in a few years? I don't think batteries are exactly biodegradable. Plus there are other factors that need to be included like the special processes that are required to make this type of cars and the impact on the environment this has.
I still support the advancement of these technologies. I don't think this country should be in such a hurry to put out a vehicle to take us all of gasoline. It indeed takes time and as such deserves this time and the money it will take to improve the technology enough to make it worthy of every day use.
jacquie 06/01/2010
i think ford is making the cars of the future now which by all means is excellent but they could have created something before this rather than jumping straight in
but it still is a great idea and i fully support it
Bob 05/31/2010
The key to Ford being successful is for them to develop superior battery technology. That is the only piece holding full electric cars from going mainstream today. Current battery technology has a low energy to weight ratio, it's expensive, and for all pratical purposes, the batteries are perishable over time whether the car is driven or not. It's would be like having to replace the fuel system in a conventional car every 5-7 years.

Attention Ford, if you build a superior battery system, you will control the majority of the EV market. Just make sure the cars also have some class and don't look like some dorky teardrop or wedge shape. People like functionality in addition to high range.

Where does one apply for one of the jobs associated with vehicle electrification?
Will 05/31/2010
I think Ford will do a great job, I just added like 33,000 dollars worth of solar panels to my home to make it energy indepdant. While I may have to add another five solar panels and a extra 10 battary to support a electric car. I would gladly buy this electic car if made to be affordable and has a range of 150 miles. I am not found of electric charges just for the plan fact all to often I have to bring gas to buddies.
Ford Flex Fan 05/30/2010
While I am a huge Ford fan, I must admit that I am excited that Tesla and Toyota are resurrecting NUMMI which GM abandoned. This is because I live in Fremont and know people, good people who worked at NUMMI. Remember, every company is a multinational company. While Toyota has it headquarter in Japan it does employee many people in the US, And Ford employs many people around the world. That said, Ford does its best work when its back is against the wall. They came up with the Flex which I believe has turned allot of heads including my wife. Except for one annoying hiccup I have been happy with the Flex. Ford is not slow when it comes to innovation and new technology. I hope Ford continues to push forward and not rest on their accomplishments. They have gone far but have a long way to go. Since I live in the Bay Area, the Flex sticks out like a sore thumb. We enjoy having a unique Crossover that is like a mini van but is not. Even with the most basic Flex, they have loaded it with allot of nice features. I expect nothing but excellence from Ford. But I wish they would continue to work with Mazda collaboratively. The collaboration has been great for Ford and Mazda. I expect Ford to revolutionize the car industry and be the leader in innovation. I expect Ford to make quality cars with safety, technology and innovation unparalled in the industry. Ford needs to step up their game and put the competition away and I am confident they are doing that. If not, they will find themselve looking back and becoming extinct.
J Daniels 05/30/2010
Your a good man Edvard. And take a look at the future, the MAP (Michigan Assembly Plant) that's eye-candy for my sore eyes. It sure is beautiful!
edvard 05/29/2010
No, I don't work for Toyota nor am I cheer leading them either. If anything, I'm rather happy to see an American car company finally getting it right for once. My Great Uncle sold Fords outside of Chattanooga TN and was one of the first dealers in the region. Most of my family drives them as a matter of fact.

But... I don't agree with you that Ford makes a "safer" hybrid than what Toyota puts out. The Prius received the highest crash rating you can get. There have been a smattering of incidents from accelerator pedals. But all car manufactures have recalls, and Ford has definitely had the Lion's share in the past.

Toyota makes a good product. We have several in our family including a 15 year old Tacoma with well over 250,000 miles and the thing even look new. But if I were to consider something else, Ford would definitely be on my list. Why? Because they're doing something that Henry Ford used to do: Make it better and make it consistently good. I see that with their products today.

I'll tell you another thing. I've been enthusiastic about electric vehicle development in the US for years. Last year I toured the GM pre-production facility and saw early versions of the Volt and got to see one on the track. Amazing. This is the future of American auto manufacturing. Its good to see both Ford and GM pursue this avenue aggressively. But... The premise of my response is that Toyota isn't sitting around and given that they've been in the hybrid game for over 10 years they have some know-how when it comes to building them. Let's not let them beat us at our own game again.
Aircraft 05/28/2010
Please, please, not just a plug in hybrid escape, but a lithium ion hybrid Explorer
Aircraft 05/28/2010
Does anybody have any idea if the soon to be released and redone Ford Explorer with the new lighter unibody will have in the near future a hybrid power train? Expidition?
Paulo Silva 05/28/2010
The question about electric cars is mainly a political one. In itself, the technology has been around for nearly one century, or more than that (since the first race with all-round electric vehicles took place between Milan, Italy, and Paris, France, in 1912!) and has suffered massive repression ever since. Just think of the progress that would have been made if the car batteries had been subject to the amount of research that cell phone units have benefited from.That being established, I believe that the most recent developments point out the fundamental change in corporative strategic thought, enabling scientific nature to take its course. I`m a Ford purchaser since the 1980`s, and must say that the only reason not to continue as such would be the failure to keep up with the green momentum. Remember, I pedal a bycicle to work, so my standards are eco-high.
Snocross258 05/28/2010
Well were you say electric cars are garbage you do not understand one bit of engineering!.....It took alot to get the gasoline engine correct and now they just need the time to get the electric motor efficient like everything it takes time. Yes, sometimes advancements come with failures but who learns with out making any mistakes!?
TMAC 05/28/2010
Jermiah, Ford is the only one that didnt take bailout money ! Even Toyota took 10 million from the japanese goverment . Get your facts right !!!!
TMAC 05/28/2010
Edvird we know you work for Toyota . Just so you know Ford's Hybrid system is already superior to Toyotas .. The best part is they are a million times safer ..which in my book is the most important thing . If you dont survive a crash what is the point ! Stop hating that Ford is now the best brand worldwide your time has come and is now gone . I would never buy a japenses product . I prefer to keep my money in the good ole USA !!
Mark 05/28/2010
Please, please, please, make a plug-in/hybrid Escape.
Jeremiah 05/28/2010
I'm glad Ford is putting the 6 BILLION DOLLARS the United States government lended them to good use!
MadMack 05/28/2010
Does anyone really want an electric car? I would not be happy paying 30-40K for an all electric car that looks like a prius, And I would certainly not want to be one of the first people to buy one. They will almost certainly have numerous problems. If you want one, before you buy it ask how much new batterys cost when they need replaced. Then if you still want one, go for it!
edvard 05/28/2010
Like I said- Toyota has been making hybrids for over 10 years. Since 1997, and furthermore they actually mas-produced and continue to sell them in great numbers. Both GM and Ford killed their electric car programs ( as did Toyota) in the early 2000's. Ford did indeed have an electric Ranger. But these were manufactured in tiny quantities.

It was only after the success of the Prius that Detroit finally woke up and realized perhaps it would be a good idea to develop hybrids and electric vehicles on their own. Also as mentioned, I want to see Ford and GM succeed. But if they do like they did last time and let Toyota beat them to the punch then it'll be a repeat of what happened in the early 2000's. But I get a suspicion that with Mullally at the helm things will be different this time around.
Kevin 05/27/2010
You have a point but... consider this, if Ford builds electric cars it will exspand the full types and technologies. Which in turn will help lead us into the future and open differnt areas that wouldn't be avaible otherwise. As well as breaking our depedance on only one or 2 types of fuels to use for perpultion in our vehicals.
zeroevmeister 05/27/2010
We will spend our time developing electric vehicles because it is the wise thing to do. We need all alternate technologies we can develop, electric, plug in hybrid, CNG and even hydrogen - so uneducated people who insist on using ecoboost engines - can watch us drive by as they sit on the side of the road when we're out of oil or when gasoline is $50 a gallon.

Can you say Gulf of Mexico Oil $pill?
zeroevmeister 05/27/2010
"Toyota has been making hybrids for over 10 years now. Long before anyone else. Back then Ford and GM were content to make trucks and SUVs."

No, they were not. As a matter of fact, both Ford and GM produced a fully electric (NOT hybrid) trucks and cars long BEFORE Toyota produced its first hybrid vehicle.
Caesar 05/27/2010
Don´t waste time in electric cars, are expensive and with very low autonomy. Better work in ecoboost technology.
Rand 05/27/2010
Electric cars are garbage, they are expensive, with very low autonomy. The transport never will be electric. Ford please don´t waste your time in electric cars.
mlwood 05/27/2010
I hope Ford and all other American Auto manufacturers, who keep the work in America, will succeed soon with a Green car. I'm not wild about the plug-in model. To me that would again create a dependance on an energy source which uses up our natural resources and is becoming more and more unaffordable already. They need to think about improving battery life, the disposal of all these batteries and/or a process that renews itself. I don't know a lot about the H2O or Hydrogen process yet but I've heard that this has great potential, I hope so.
edvard 05/27/2010
I, like many others want Ford to succeed as well. My post was definitely more of a heads-up. To me the electric car game is definitely going to revolutionize not just how we drive, but the way cars are designed. Product cycles are going to have to be aggressively pursued because yesterday's battery technology is rapidly made obsolete very quickly.

Toyota has been making hybrids for over 10 years now. Long before anyone else. Back then Ford and GM were content to make trucks and SUVs. Now GM has a plug in electric vehicle- the Volt- coming out in 3 months. When it does it will be the most advanced car on the road. But I imagine this will be short-lived. I can easily see Toyota raising the bar. Hence my heads up on Tesla, which I'm sure they were already well aware of. All I'm saying is don't rest on your laurels. Anticipate beyond what your competitors will do. Beat them at the game.

I'm very glad to see both Ford and GM invest in designing and manufacturing batteries in the US. This adds to our heritage of automotive technology. Hopefully that will continue.
J Daniels 05/26/2010
First: I think Ford’s effort is great for everyone.

The electric cars will begin a new era in the way we think about transportation and put less demand on oil company's to take chances in politics, oil recovery, and poker.

The folks at Ford is not asleep-at-the-wheel, as Edvard might suggest; but to the contrary, their vision is much greater. And Ford has already spent more on R&D than the small ante Toyota put up. . . I’m sure Bill appreciates the heads-up, but he probably knows what’s goin’ on in this sector, so, if you want to be hangin’ on to the tail of the winning ox, you might re-read the top again. . . My moneys ridin’ on Ford.
edvard 05/26/2010
I'm sure you all saw the news that Toyota has decided to invest $50 million dollars with Tesla and re-open their NUMMI plant in Fremont CA where Tesla will start producing their all-electric Model S and also assist Toyota by utilizing their technology for upcoming Toyota products... most likely an all-electric version of the Prius.

With that said, I think the writing is very clearly on the wall. Tesla's model S has a range of 160 miles on the lower end battery and 300 on the upper end. Combine this with Toyota's expertise and experience with years of producing hybrids and you have a very real possibility of Toyota launching a superior electric car in the next 2-3 years.

So in that regard I hope Ford is upping the anty as we speak. Toyota will make it happen and its up to you all to anticipate that challenge. Don't get caught off guard. Do the job better.