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Ford Extends Driving Range of Focus Electric with New Battery

The Ford Focus Electric, which debuts in the U.S. late next year and in Europe in 2012, will be powered by a lithium-ion battery that uses heated and cooled liquid to help maximize battery life and driving range. The vehicle will have an expected range of up to 100 miles and use no gasoline.

Ford selected the active liquid-cooling and heating system to regulate the temperature of its lithium-ion battery packs, which are designed to operate under a range of ambient conditions. Thermal management of these battery systems is key to successful all-electric vehicles because extreme temperatures can affect performance, reliability, safety and durability, says Ford.

The active liquid cooling and heating system also enables the Focus Electric to automatically precondition the battery pack temperature during daily recharging. If the battery is already at the optimal temperature, the system will automatically accept charge and maintain an optimal temperature.

When the vehicle is plugged into the power grid, the vehicle system will be able to warm up the battery on cold days and cool it down on hot days, says Ford.

The Focus Electric will be built at Ford’s retooled Michigan Assembly Plant and will be available in late 2011.

Focus Electric is one of five electrified vehicles Ford will release over the next three years. Ford’s Transit Connect Electric small commercial van will be available in late 2010, followed by two next-generation hybrid electric vehicles, as well as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in North America in 2012 and Europe in 2013.

In other EV news, UPS and Electric Vehicles International (EVI) have launched a 90-day demonstration trial of their electric walk-in van (EVI-WI), equally split among three locations in Sacramento, San Francisco and Reno.

Aimed at the parcel delivery service industry, the EVI-WI is built on a Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) glider equipped with an Utilimaster body.

Earlier this year, EVI received California Air Resource Board (CARB) approval for the EVI-WI. Purchasers can apply for a $20,000 CARB rebate through the Hybrid Truck and Bus Incentive Project (HVIP).

In June, UPS rolled out 200 new hybrid electric trucks into service across eight U.S. cities in an effort to reduce fuel consumption. The HEVs also use a FCCC body and a hybrid power system from Eaton Corp.

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2 thoughts on “Ford Extends Driving Range of Focus Electric with New Battery

  1. Finally, an American Automobile Company is taking a leadership role in commerciallizing high mpg and zero emission vehicles. It is about time. I would much rather buy American vehicles. My last car is a Honda Civic Hybrid which I leased in March 2009. I love this vehicle’s performance and 46 mpg. But if Ford can beat Honda, Toyyota and Nisssan in the zero emmission and very high mpg vehicles, I will support Ford in future car purchases.

  2. Right on! Our Caterpillar electric forklifts, which we have used since 1993) last an entire shift (8 hours and longer if low use) on a single charge. The emmissions and noises are pretty much eliminated. Using fossil fuels to run our vehicles is a waste of this precious resource and makes some pretty bad countries and people extremely rich. it is great to see our car industry finnally wake up to the possibilities. One of the biggest side benefits of electric vehicles is that the maintainence is very minimal, which means we will spend less money on oil changes and the like. Bad for this industry but great for society.

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