Azure Dynamics to begin integrating plug-in hybrid technology in Ford F-Series Super-Duty Trucks; F-550 is first in 2013
Azure Dynamics Corporation has entered an agreement with Ford Motor Company whereby Azure will integrate its proprietary plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology into the Ford F-Series Super Duty product line.
In collaboration with Ford, Azure’s plug-in hybrid technology will be initially integrated on Ford’s F-Series Super Duty cab and chassis, the F-550, which is expected to be available in early 2013. The agreement also allows Azure to perform hybrid powertrain conversions on other Super Duty platforms including F-350 and F-450 models and spans all engine, frame length and regular production options and configurations.
Azure believes that roughly two-thirds of the engineered parallel plug-in hybrid system will be applicable for all Super Duty powertrain configurations, and roughly one-third will need to be powertrain-specific (e.g., gasoline vs. diesel).
The Super Duty program will allow Azure to further expand its product line-up in its targeted medium duty commercial truck segment.
The Azure/Ford agreement includes a ‘ship-thru’ provision that permits Azure to place vehicles in the Ford transportation system and allows qualified Ford Commercial Truck dealerships to sell and service the product in key markets in North America.
The Ford F-Series Super Duty has a more than 50% share in the North American market. The commercial cab and chassis industry supports approximately 100,000 vehicles per year and is the preferred active work-truck for thousands of commercial fleets managing a broad range of logistical needs. The Super Duty offers several diesel and gasoline engine options and a variety of cab, bed and accessories options.
The new PHEV F-Series program further expands the Azure/Ford business relationship. Azure and Ford teamed up in 2009 to bring the Transit Connect Electric to market in just 13 months after the program was first announced. Prior to the Transit Connect Electric development, Azure and Ford collaborated on the E-450 cutaway and strip chassis to create the Balance Hybrid Electric, a truck or shuttle that achieves up to 40% fuel improvement while reducing emissions and maintenance costs by up to 30% each.
Balance Hybrid Electric has 60% share in the medium duty (class 2c – V) hybrid commercial truck market in North America and is deployed in fleets such as AT&T, CINTAS, DHL, FedEx Express, and Purolator.