Ford’s new third-generation hybrid system is debuting this fall in models like the Ford Fusion and C-Max hybrids.
Ford’s new third-generation hybrid system is debuting this fall in models like the Fusion and C-Max hybrids. Unlike earlier hybrid systems that relied on nickel-metal-hydride batteries, the new system uses lithium-ion batteries that are lighter and more efficient. According to Ford, the new batteries could also reduce the company’s use of expensive, less-abundant rare earth metals by up to 500,000 pounds a year.
By lowering the use of expensive rare earth metals, the cost of the new batteries has been reduced by about 30 percent. Also, lithium-ion batteries are 50 percent lighter and 25 to 30 percent smaller. The result: Better fuel efficiency in Ford’s new electric vehicle offerings, including a projected 47 mpg for Fusion Hybrid and an EPA-certified 47 mpg for C-MAX Hybrid.
“We’re continually looking to find ways to provide greater fuel efficiency as well as cost savings to customers of our hybrid vehicles, and the reduction of rare earth metals is a key part of this strategy,” said Chuck Gray, chief engineer, Global Core Engineering, Hybrid and Electric Vehicles.”The third-generation hybrid technology we are now using builds on our 20 years of electric vehicle innovations.”