2013 C-MAX_HEV, C-MAX_PHEV,_FFH, FF_PHEV and_MKZh being readied with a key component.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Aug. 2, 2012
A sneak peek at the actual transmission partly responsible for the 47/44 mpgUS city/highway rating of the all-new 2013 Fusion Hybrid.
Ford’s next generation Hybrid transmission destined for the entire Ford and Lincoln hybrid lineup is not only a scientific and technological wonder but promises to be a job creation engine at the Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling, Michigan.
Ford stated that this single piece of hybrid hardware required a $220 million investment to transform Van Dyke Transmission into an operation capable of producing the all-new hybrid transmission.
The new assembly line and plant upgrades are responsible for an additional 225 new jobs of the 12,000 U.S. hourly jobs the company expects to add by 2015. The plant recently added 130 jobs as part of the hybrid transmission launch, with the remaining workers scheduled to start work by the end of the month. Van Dyke now has a total of 1,350 workers.
Ford’s Hybrid transmission details
The hybrid transmission, code named HF35, incorporates two electric motors just as its predecessor from the Japanese Corporation Aisin did. Although the technical details on how Ford managed to keep MG1 RPMs down while keeping the ICE at 0 RPM at up to 62 mph have yet to be released, HF35 is the first hybrid transmission to be designed and built entirely within the Ford family. By bringing the development work in-house, Ford reduced development costs 20 percent.
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 key to the conundrum?
- A hyper-efficient new cooling system that enables higher speeds in electric drive. <-- A second key enabler.
- 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.
Ford’s FFH is already one of the smoothest and most fuel efficient all-around hybrid transmissions on the road today. What the HF35 mated to the Atkinsonized 2.0L will provide beyond its amazing 47/44 mpgUS city/highway rating is one of those questions we cannot wait to find out