Ford is investing €42 million (US$46.6 million) in its Valencia, Spain manufacturing plant to support the company’s electrification strategy with a state-of-the-art battery assembly facility in addition to new S-MAX Hybrid and Galaxy Hybrid models.
Two new assembly lines will enable the advanced lithium-ion batteries that help power all-new Kuga Plug-In Hybrid, all-new Kuga Hybrid, and new S-MAX Hybrid and Galaxy Hybrid to be produced alongside the vehicles for greater manufacturing efficiency and sustainability. Delivered through a €24-million investment, the new battery assembly facility will begin production in September this year.
When introduced in early 2021, the new S-MAX Hybrid sport activity vehicle and Galaxy Hybrid people mover will deliver enhanced fuel efficiency, reduced CO2 emissions and greater refinement. The currently unique-to-segment electrified powertrain will offer an alternative to Ford’s EcoBlue diesel-powered models without compromising interior space, comfort or flexibility.
Production of the new hybrid S-MAX and Galaxy variants—powered by a 2.5‑liter Atkinson cycle gasoline engine, electric motor, generator and lithium-ion battery—is enabled by an additional €8-million investment in new tooling and assembly line upgrades at Ford’s Valencia facility.
A further €10 million investment supports production of the all-new Kuga Hybrid SUV. Ford is introducing 14 electrified vehicles in Europe by the end of 2020.
Ford has invested €3 billion in its Valencia facility since 2011, including €750 million to support production of Kuga, with a comprehensive line-up including the Kuga Plug-In Hybrid, Kuga EcoBlue Hybrid (48-volt mild-hybrid) and Kuga Hybrid (full-hybrid) variants.
S-MAX Hybrid and Galaxy Hybrid. The S-MAX Hybrid and Galaxy Hybrid share Ford’s latest full-hybrid architecture introduced with the all-new Kuga Hybrid, incorporating a water-cooled lithium-ion battery mounted in a crash absorbent, waterproof structure beneath the vehicle’s underbody for the most efficient use of space.
The S-MAX Hybrid will be available in five- and seven-seat configurations and will retain existing load space volume of up to 2,200 liters (77.7 cubic feet) for the five-seat variant. The Galaxy Hybrid will feature seven seats as standard and offer optimized flexibility, retaining existing load space volume of up to 2,339 liters (82.6 cubic feet).
Supported by a power-split automatic transmission, the S-MAX Hybrid and Galaxy Hybrid powertrains will deliver a targeted 200 PS and 210 NmN·m of torque for even better standing start and in-gear acceleration than Ford EcoBlue diesel powered models, and targeted 1,500 kg towing capability.
The models will deliver targeted 140 g/km CO2 emissions (WLTP) and significantly reduced NOx emissions.
Further technologies designed to help drivers optimize efficiency without sacrificing comfort include:
Regenerative braking technology that captures up to 90% of the energy normally lost during braking to replenish the battery;
Ford’s SmartGauge interface for monitoring fuel and energy consumption, with features including Brake Coach that encourages gradual braking to help return more energy to the battery;
Electric power-assisted steering; and
Electrically-powered air-conditioning, powertrain cooling and vacuum systems, which significantly reduce drag on the engine.
The Ford S-MAX Hybrid and Galaxy Hybrid will join the line-ups that have sold almost 125,000 and 69,000 vehicles respectively since the latest generation models were introduced in 2015. S‑MAX recorded a 9% increase in sales year-over-year between January and November 2019.
Ford also produces the Mondeo Hybrid and Mondeo Hybrid wagon models at its Valencia manufacturing facility.