Starting in August, Ford will make calibration updates designed to improve on-road fuel economy for owners of the 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid, 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid, and 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. According to Ford, production of the MKZ Hybrid has increased from 20 percent to 40 percent.

Calibration updates to Ford hybrid vehicles include:

  • Increasing the maximum pure electric speed to 85 mph from 62 mph, allowing increased use of electric-only mode on the highway.
  • Optimizing the use of Active Grille Shutters to reduce aerodynamic drag under more driving and temperature conditions, including cold weather, during air conditioner use, and when the engine coolant temperature is higher.
  • Reducing the electric fan speed as a function of coolant temperature to minimize the fan's energy consumption.
  • Shortening engine warm-up time by up to 50 percent to enable electric-only driving and engine shutdown at stops sooner after cold starts.
  • Optimizing the climate control system to minimize use of the air conditioning compressor and reduce the energy used in cold weather operation.

Ford's share of the U.S. electrified vehicle market has quadrupled to nearly 16 percent during the first half of 2013 with a 12-point gain over the same period last year – supporting the company's nearly 1-point increase in overall U.S. market share, according to Ford. The company reported electric vehicle sales of 46,197 units through June.

Ford C-MAX Hybrid and Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid are helping drive this growth. Meanwhile, the Ford brand had the largest retail share increase in California of any brand during the first five months of 2013, based on the latest Polk retail registration data. Last month, 64 percent of C-MAX Hybrid buyers came from non-Ford brands, Ford said.

Ford is also expanding electrification engineering jobs by nearly 50 percent and investing $50 million in electrified vehicle development centers in Dearborn, Mich. Part of the research funding includes doubling electrification battery-testing capabilities by the end of the year to a total of 160 individual battery-test cells – helping to speed hybrid and electric vehicle development by as much as 25 percent, according to Ford.

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