DEARBORN - Are you well-schooled on the Ford electrified vehicle lineup? To ensure Ford team members have the information necessary to be successful ambassadors for these Ford products, @Ford is kicking off a new Did you know? series dedicated to electrified vehicles. Important statistics and information about Ford EVs and hybrids will appear weekly in the notes section of @FordOnline. As a primer to receiving these tid-bits, Electrified Powertrain Engineer Kevin Layden, recently shared the EV basics with @Ford.
Q. It’s been a busy couple of years with six new Ford electrified products hitting the market! What has been the most rewarding part of seeing your products hitting the road?
A. It’s so rewarding to see our customers enjoy the products not just as hybrid vehicles but as great all-around vehicles, and that’s exciting for the team. Through January, data on our plug-in vehicles (Ford C-MAX Energi, Ford Fusion Energi and Ford Focus Electric) shows us that the total number of electric miles driven for Ford customers has surpassed 65 million miles, increasing at a rate of 290,000 electric miles per day. And over four million kilograms of CO2 has been avoided by driving electric in our Ford plug-in vehicles. The data is also shows that customers are taking occasional longer trips and the Energi products are able to accommodate, but nearly all weekday trips are performed in electric mode.
Q. Is Ford continuing to build on its expertise in hybrid development?
A. Absolutely. We already have an outstanding team, both in research and advanced engineering, as well as in electrified powertrain engineering. We also have engineers in product development engineering who have best-in-class knowledge and raw capability. You can see that expertise in the fantastic products we have on the road now.
And we are continuing to build the electrified powertrain team. As we embark on our next projects, we’re going to get very busy with a much larger team, housed at our Advanced Electrification Center in Dearborn, and across the globe.
Q. What has been the most rewarding part of leading the electrification engineering team?
A. Being part of a world class technical organization is hugely rewarding for me. I have the opportunity to see Ford employees who are at the forefront of some really impressive technologies, from motors to power electronics, system engineering, electrified technologies. We’re exploring parts of the world of scientific technology that are really just coming to maturity now. As an engineer, living at the forefront of technology development and implementation is tremendously satisfying.
Q. Electrification continues to be a hot topic in the media. How is Ford’s electrification strategy unique in the marketplace?
A. Our world-class electrified products really set us apart from the competition in that we deliver class-leading fuel efficiency, innovative technologies and impressive driving dynamics, all in an affordable package. On the engineering front, we have a couple of key technologies that give us an advantage over the competition. First is our PowerSplit, or series-parallel, technology that allows us to deliver great fuel efficiency and performance. At the same time, you look at our unique approach to hybrid offerings. By offering six electrified products, from hybrid to plug-in hybrid to all-electric, we are giving customers the power to choose a fuel-efficient vehicle that fits their needs. Additionally, we are electrifying platforms instead of one-off specialty models, so we have the ability to flex our production to meet customer demand. This means that we’re able to build an electrified powertrain in the same plant, on the same line, as an internal combustion, gas-powered vehicle. Our world-class Michigan Assembly Plant demonstrates this approach, where the C-MAX Energi, C-MAX Hybrid, Focus Electric, Focus, and Focus ST all come down the same assembly line.
Q. What are three key facts that you would want employees to know about Ford’s electrified lineup?
o Ford offers six electrified products, from hybrid to plug-in hybrid to all-electric, giving customers the power to choose a fuel-efficient vehicle that fits their needs
o We’ve got a world-class team delivering electrified powertrains, and you can expect world-class vehicles from this team
o Consistent with Ford’s strategy, we give you the “and” solution. Great fuel economy AND great capability. Highly economical AND highly functional. Really stylish AND good looking!