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Ford and suppliers investing $220M to produce new HF35 hybrid transmission and others at Van Dyke plant

HF35 architecture. Click to enlarge.

Ford and suppliers are investing $220 million to transform Van Dyke Transmission into a modern operation capable of producing Ford’s new hybrid transmission—HF35—as well as other fuel-efficient transmissions. HF35 will be used in five electrified vehicles being introduced this year: C-MAX Hybrid; C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid; Fusion Hybrid; Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid; and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. Ford developed the HF35 supported in part by a grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE).

The HF35, which incorporates two electric motors, is Ford’s third-generation powersplit transaxle, and the first manufactured internally; previously, hybrid transmission production was handled by a supplier in Japan. By bringing the development work in-house, Ford reduced development costs 20%. Major components of the HF35 include:

  • Motor/Generator Set
  • Planetary Gearset
  • Transfer Gears
  • Final Drive Differential
  • Shafts
  • Bearings
  • Pump/Filter
  • Flywheel/Damper Assembly

Powersplit architecture. Click to enlarge.

The cost of the HF35 is mitigated with the utilization of components common with other Ford transaxle products; the HF35 comprises 134 new parts and 43 carryover parts.

Ford engineered the HF35 and upgraded the controls with a goal of creating the industry’s highest-performing, smoothest-operating hybrid transmission. Among this hybrid transmission’s innovations:

  • Electric motors capable of operating at higher electric speeds;

  • A super-efficient new cooling system that enables higher speeds in electric drive;

  • Optimized gear ratios enabling improvement in fuel economy;

  • More precise controls to deliver higher levels of refinement as the powertrain transitions between engine and electric drive; and

  • Reduced weight to help increase fuel economy.

The Van Dyke investments are part of a $632-million commitment Ford and its suppliers are making to increase capacity and flexibility at three North American transmission facilities by 2015. Investments at Van Dyke include manufacturing, capital equipment, launch and engineering costs, and supplier tooling upgrades. New flexible equipment allows the plant to build both HF35 and 6F, a conventional six-speed automatic transmission, at the same time.




That's becoming ridiculous this dumping of fad technologies sold at high price. Plug-in hybrid: That add huge cost and rely on defective lithium-ion battery that wear fast and that impede car operation in less then a year. Hybrid technology do not give positive results except in rare occasion where rejenerative breaking is use a lot but again as soon as you hit the highway it give worst fuel economy.

Hybrid is just a marketing fad subsidized by goverments all over the world because they know it won't replace petrol so they maintain this costly robbery against green wannabe and behind close doors they calculate how much petrol money they did today and they project the revenue they will make tommorrow.


This looks to have a very similar arrangement to Toyota's HSD transmission.  I'm struck by how simple it is:  3 constant-mesh gear sets and one planetary set used as a differential.  No clutch packs in sight, and no torque converter.

With nothing to shift and no valves to operate, this unit ought to be as trouble-free as the electronics which drive it.  THAT, on the other hand, might be an issue; I've heard of brief lifespans due to whisker growth and shorting in lead-free solder formulations.  I hope they have that licked, or just didn't bother with it for American markets.



BTW, did you notice some of the claimed improvements in the new hybrid transmission:
- Electric motors capable of operating at higher electric speeds;
- Reduced weight

The goals were higher efficiency, and as always - lower costs.


I noticed that several announcements ago.  I'm hoping to snag one early next year.


Will this be incorporated into 2013 Ford/Lincoln Hybrids? If so, they may be very competitive and others (like Toyota) may have to do better.


I see that MG2's planetary has been replaced by the yellow gearset (in the diagram). The path from MG2 to the wheel axle is therefore about 5% more efficient while stiil achieving approx the same reduction ratio.

For myself I am waiting for the fully decoupled engine. Hopefully the introduction of BEVs will optimise the elctric powertrain so that a performance two cylinder engine-generator can replace the $12,000 battery pack to give us effectively the first affordable fully electric transmission. IOW the Fisker Karma without the Justin Beiber price !

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