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2012 Ford Focus Sedan

Ford Transit Connect Electric
Ford gives out some details on the Focus Electric's battery system

Ford is doing its best to stay in the headlines when it comes to the latest in tech. Earlier this week, we brought you news of Ford's efforts to deliver SYNC firmware to new vehicles over Wi-Fi instead of using costly custom-designed hardware.

Today, Ford is spilling the beans on the electric variant of the next generation Ford Focus. Ford is already moving the Focus nameplate up a few rungs from a bargain basement special that is popular with fleet customers to a premium compact, so an electric variant isn't too surprising.

The new Focus Electric will use an advanced lithium-ion battery pack that is [active] liquid cooled to help keep the cells at the perfect operating temperature -- that means cooling the batteries in the hot of summer and heating them in the cold of winter. If you recall, Tesla's CEO called out Nissan for using "primitive" air-cooling on the battery pack used in the Leaf EV. Tesla won't be able to make the same claims against Ford.

“Extreme temperatures impact a battery’s life and performance, making it crucial to have an effective cooling and heating system to regulate temperature for these demanding applications,” said Anand Sankaran, Ford's executive technical leader for Energy Storage and HV Systems.

The active liquid cooling system will also be used to "precondition" the battery pack when charging. The system will automatically bring the batteries to the proper temperature before the charging process begins. If the batteries are already at their optimum temperature, the charging process starts right away.

Ford also announced that the driving range for the Focus Electric will be an impressive 100 miles. The 100-mile figure is identical to that of the Nissan Leaf, but the Focus Electric may have the upper hand in extreme temperatures due to the active cooling system. 

Production of the Focus Electric will begin next year at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant and the vehicle will be available to the public in late 2011. It should be interesting to see how Ford will price the Focus Electric given the more expensive cooling system that it's decided to strap into the vehicle. Nissan's Leaf EV starts at $32,780 before a $7,500 federal tax credit. On the other hand, Chevrolet's Volt will start at $41,000 before the tax credit. We speculate that the Focus Electric will come in somewhere between those two figures.

The Focus Electric isn't the only all-electric vehicle coming out of Ford -- the Transit Connect Electric commercial van will be available later this year. That vehicle has a driving range of 80 miles.



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damn
By michal1980 on 9/2/2010 8:46:46 PM , Rating: 2
that new focus looks Sweeeeettt.




RE: damn
By Smartless on 9/2/2010 10:15:19 PM , Rating: 3
I agree. That's actually pretty nice and I'd consider buying it... If it wasn't an EV. lol.


RE: damn
By Spuke on 9/2/2010 11:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
It does look very nice!!


RE: damn
By Kiffberet on 9/3/2010 4:05:05 AM , Rating: 1
Pity it cost $40k.
And then another $10k for a new battery every 5 years.

But at least you're saving the environment...if the power you use to charge the battery is from nuclear or re-newable, which in the US it most certainly won't be.

In fact, aparts from the looks, there's not much going for this car.


RE: damn
By semo on 9/3/2010 5:53:04 AM , Rating: 2
If you are greenpeace nut then yeah, you are "saving the environment".

For more technical people we know that one of the biggest advantages of these cars is less street level pollution (you can breathe easier, see further, etc...). I assume that these cars use less machine oil too which would hopefully mean less dangerous spills on the road.

There are plenty of advantages you get from all electric/plug-in serial hybrids and it's not all about that mushy feeling that hippies get when they drive petrol powered hybrids.

Current electric vehicles are not perfect compared to conventional ICE ones but pretty impressive when you consider ICE's have been tested and refined on a massive scale for over a century.


RE: damn
By Spuke on 9/3/2010 3:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Current electric vehicles are not perfect compared to conventional ICE ones but pretty impressive when you consider ICE's have been tested and refined on a massive scale for over a century.
I guess you're not aware that EV's have been in development just as long. As a matter of fact, EV's predate gasoline engines. The only reasons why we moved away from EV's is because oil was super cheap.


RE: damn
By semo on 9/3/2010 4:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
Another big reason why we moved away from EVs is because of the electric motor. Cranking wasn't required after starter motors were invented, thus eradicating the biggest inconvenience of ICE driven cars.

Also, it doesn't matter how long EVs have existed if no one has bought any in the last who knows how many years. ICEs on the other hand have seen enormous amount of investment and refinement over the years due to the massive volume of units sold (and ultimately "tested" by the end user).


RE: damn
By Spuke on 9/3/2010 5:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Cranking wasn't required after starter motors were invented, thus eradicating the biggest inconvenience of ICE driven cars.
Interesting. Thanks.

quote:
Also, it doesn't matter how long EVs have existed if no one has bought any in the last who knows how many years.
I sit corrected. That is entirely right.


RE: damn
By JohnCBriggs on 9/3/2010 7:55:53 AM , Rating: 2
Batteries are warrantied for at least 8 years/100,000 if not 10 years/150,000 miles.


RE: damn
By Spivonious on 9/3/2010 9:52:48 AM , Rating: 2
They haven't announced pricing yet, at least according to this article.

Also, this Focus will also be available in regular gas engine configurations as well as in a 5-door hatchback style.

They're placing it between the Fiesta and the Fusion, so I'd expect it to start around $18k and top out around $22k. The EV version will probably be around $28-30k.


RE: damn
By Flunk on 9/3/2010 9:04:04 AM , Rating: 2
Rejoice, there is also a dino-powered version.


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