Ford Invests $220M to Produce New Hybrid Transmission
Ford and suppliers are investing $220 million to transform Van Dyke Transmission into a modern operation capable of producing Ford’s new hybrid transmission for its hybrid and electric cars.
The investments are part of a $632 million commitment Ford and its suppliers are making to increase capacity and flexibility at three North American transmission facilities by 2015.
HF35, which incorporates two electric motors, is the first hybrid transmission to be designed and built by Ford. Previously, hybrid transmission production was handled by a supplier in Japan. By bringing the development work in-house, Ford reduced development costs 20 percent.
New flexible equipment allows the plant to build both HF35 and 6F, a conventional six-speed automatic transmission, at the same time.
Ford engineered the HF35 and upgraded the controls with a goal of creating the industry’s highest-performing, smoothest-operating hybrid transmission. Among this hybrid transmission’s innovations:
- Electric motors capable of operating at higher electric speeds
- A super-efficient new cooling system that enables higher speeds in electric drive
- Optimized gear ratios enabling improvement in fuel economy
- More precise controls to deliver higher levels of refinement as the powertrain transitions between engine and electric drive
- Reduced weight to help increase fuel economy
HF35 will be used in five electrified vehicles being introduced this year to provide customers with a range of fuel-efficient options:
- C-MAX Hybrid: Coming this fall; projected 47 mpg city
- Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid: Coming this fall; projected to deliver 550 miles of total range, including more than 20 miles in electric-only mode
- All-new Fusion Hybrid: Coming this fall; projected 47 mpg highway
- Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid: Will begin production by the end of this year
- Lincoln MKZ Hybrid: Coming later this year
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