Print 69 comment(s) - last by monkeyman1140.. on Sep 9 at 5:50 PM

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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: How can this make sense
By Iridium130m on 9/3/2010 10:08:53 AM , Rating: 2
It makes perfect sense. Look at the issues Honda is having with air cooling their battery pack in high temperature regions. And the IMA system on the Honda's only use the packs in limited bursts. Honda is to the point now where, IMHO, they are dishonoring their warranty and refusing the change out the packs and putting software on the vehicles to limit the role of the packs use in the car.

In an EV vehicle, you CANNOT have the battery pack not work. Or be limited. period. Ford has recognized this in their hybrids as my understanding is they have some active forms of cooling in them, and now their EVs.

You are not going to get the full range in high heat. Or low cold. (fuel millage drops in gasoline only vehicles in these scenarios too). But you are not going to destroy the most expensive component in your vehicle either. And I'm sure were not talking only 2500-3500 here per pack replacement as is the case in my car.

RE: How can this make sense
By fteoath64 on 9/3/2010 10:50:45 AM , Rating: 2
This is why I think the batteries idea is a lame one. At least using conventional batteries (lithium ion or lithium polymer), should be using hydrogen-fuel cell. What actually happen to those ?. Used to do 400 mile on a single charge/tank equivalent!.

RE: How can this make sense
By FaaR on 9/3/2010 11:46:22 AM , Rating: 2
Fuel cells have a lot of their own quirks, including need for precious metals for the catalysts, high operating heat, life expectancy and so on.

They're expensive to make, don't last very long, and...seriously, do you really want to drive around with a tank of pressurized hydrogen behind your back? ;)

RE: How can this make sense
By JKflipflop98 on 9/4/2010 2:41:43 AM , Rating: 2
A tank of hydrogen is no more dangerous than a tank full of gasoline. Except in the event of a crash, gasoline lays on the road under your car in a big puddle, whereas the hydrogen just flys off into the atmosphere

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki