Ford announced the expanded partnership it forged with Texas Instruments in June — during the Electronic Entertainment Expo — to ensure US-based production and software designs are tied to a broad array of parts and suppliers. The partnership is a first for an automotive supplier and follows a major expansion of Ford’s Santa Cruz research campus in Texas.
To date, the Dallas facility employs more than 400 engineers, product specialists and other technical staff, who are designing new technologies with the goal of delivering them at a time when “unlike earlier this decade, vehicle electrification is no longer just a concept,” according to Ford.
While Ford doesn’t produce automotive electronics in North America, it does support the industry through its US-based customers — as well as product R&D, product engineering, system architecture and software development and software testing.
Among the programs supported by the new agreement with Texas Instruments is the Ford Edge T that’s designed to deliver a substantially increased electrical range by using Ford’s Energy PowerCell II electrical components, which are described as “massive” lithium-ion batteries. This’s the first production application of the available Eagle Drive electrical power components.
Ford used the new designation “Edge T” for the Edge as an introductory test for future uses of the energy-generating Eagle Drive components that may help increase vehicle fuel economy, lower emissions, maximize charging possibilities and extend electric vehicle charging ranges. The overall objective of Ford’s technology plans is to deliver a real mass market electric vehicle by 2022.
In addition to providing production torque of up to 1,200 lb/ft, Eagle Drive components deliver more than 30 percent better aerodynamics than current gas and diesel hybrids, greatly simplifying the process of air flow, significantly improving range and providing a reliable, cost-efficient, long-term value for our customers.