Ford to Push Hybrids at SAE Conference ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Ford to Push Hybrids at SAE Conference

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ford to Push Hybrids at SAE Conference

The Ford team is looking to push hybrid and electric vehicle technology at the 2009 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress, which makes sense since the theme this year is "Racing to Green Mobility."

The SAE Conference is April 20-23 and Ford will be there in strength. Over 70 papers will be presented by engineers, researchers and academia. Ford will be well represented by Dr. Gerhard Schmidt, chief technical officer and vice president of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering; and Sherif Marakby, chief engineer, Ford Global Hybrid Engineering.

The SAE also will honor Schmidt on April 21 as the 2009 winner of the organization's all-new Franz F. Pischinger Powertrain Innovation Award.

"As a former Ph.D. student of Professor Pischinger, this award is particularly meaningful to me," said Schmidt. "This award truly recognizes the team of talented people I've been honored to work beside throughout my career."

Ford's Marakby will speak to trends in consumer hybrid purchase considerations during the "Making Green Cool While Staying in the Black" panel discussion on April 21. Ford's innovative SmartGauge with EcoGuide digital instrument cluster will be illustrated as a perfect example of cool-factor hybrid technology.

"What we are discovering is that the notion of a hybrid and its outstanding fuel economy is what may draw the consumer to the showroom, but it's the cool factor - the HMI displays, the next-generation navigation system, Ford SYNC functionality - that is a significant dynamic in the customer purchase decision," said Marakby.

On April 22, Marakby will lead a more technical discussion on full hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles as a participant in the "Which Hybrid Concepts Will Rise to the Top? The Race to the Marketplace" panel.

Ford engineers will be highlighting their direct injection, turbocharged EcoBoost engine and the development of lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery systems. They are also looking to highlight the role of vehicle weight, aerodynamics, materials, and electrical loads and how they affect the total energy use.

"Improving fuel economy involves optimizing every aspect of a vehicle's energy consumption, including aerodynamics, weight, rolling resistance and electrical loads. These actions, coupled with state-of-the-art powertrain technologies, can be seen in many of our newly-launched vehicles," said Paul Mascarenas, vice president of engineering for Global Product Development.

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