Ford to open bespoke electric and hybrid vehicle R&D centre in United States
The facility opened in 1993 as part of an $84m project, and was originally used primarily for noise, vibration and harshness testing. It will now be home to a team of 1,000 engineers who will use its advanced labs to develop electric and hybrid powertrains.
Ford said it is aiming to triple the production of its electric and part-electric models in 2013 compared to 2011 levels, and is planning to add 12,000 hourly and salaried jobs in the United States by 2015 as a result of new technology.
The carmaker has already doubled the size of the team working on its environmentally-friendly powertrains over the last five years, with the arrival of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric technology, as well as the latest EcoBoost efficient petrol engines.
Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas, said: ‘Ford remains absolutely committed to providing a wide range of choices of top fuel economy solutions for our customers – from EcoBoost-powered gasoline vehicles and hybrids to plug-in hybrids and full electrics. To meet growing demand for our fuel-efficient vehicles, we are continuing to invest in new jobs in the U.S. and converting our facilities for further advancements.’