It seems like Washington and the big automakers in Detroit have gone electrification crazy. Everyone is working on the electrification of the automobile industry with more hybrids and pure electric vehicles being researched and produced all around the world. The push for electrification is to save drivers at the pump, help the environment, and to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil.
Ford is talking about its significant investment in electrification with its Electrification Center of Excellence boasting 285,000 square feet of research and development space. Ford states that it now has over 1000 engineers working on vehicle electrification, which is the highest number of engineers on the project ever. Ford has added 60 new engineers over the last year and dozens more will be added in the year ahead.
Most of those 1000 engineers are located under one roof at the newly dedicated Advanced Electrification Center in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford has also announced that it will double its battery testing capabilities by 2013. The increased focus on battery testing will accelerate hybrid and electric vehicle development by as much as 25%.
Ford invested $135 million in the design, engineering, and production of key components, including advanced battery systems for next-generation hybrid vehicles that will go into production this year. Ford's battery testing capability will increase to 160 individual battery test channels by 2013. This will be accomplished by adding some highly specialized machines that are able to test and simulate things like battery performance and battery pack thermal behavior over a range of temperatures and possible operating conditions.