Ford to re-cal 2013 hybrids, beef up engineering staff

  • 17-Jul-2013 01:54 EDT

Ford's calibration updates on 2013 hybrids aim to address customer complaints that their vehicles do not deliver the EPA fuel economy as advertised—47/47 mpg city/highway in the case of the C-MAX Hybrid (shown).

Ford on July 16 announced it will increase its electrification engineering workforce by this year 50% to 500 salaried employees and invest $50 million in electrified-vehicle development and testing centers in Dearborn. Among other things, it will double electrification battery-testing capabilities by the end of the year to 160 individual battery testing cells. The automaker also announced that it will make calibration updates to improve the real-world fuel economy for owners of the 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid, 2013 Fusion Hybrid, and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. Calibration enhancements include:

• Increasing maximum pure-electric vehicle speed to 85 mph (137 km/h) from 62 mph (100 km/h)

• Shortening engine warm-up time by up to 50% to enable electric-only driving and engine shutdown at stops sooner after cold starts

• Optimizing the use of active grill shutters to reduce drag under more driving conditions

• Reducing electric fan speed as a function of coolant temperature

• Optimizing the climate-control system to minimize use of the air-conditioning compressor and reduce the energy used in cold-weather operation.

Owners will not be charged for the calibration updates.


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