Green Car Congress Ford begins rollout of Focus Electric; electrifying …

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Ford Focus Electric Cars

17 April 2012

The Ford Focus Electric. Click to enlarge.

Ford has begun the consumer roll-out of the Focus Electric, the battery-electric version of its new Focus; production of the vehicles began in December 2011 at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant. (Earlier post .) The Focus Electric is Ford’s first electric drive light-duty passenger vehicle resulting from its strategy to electrify its entire high-volume platforms, rather than one-off specialty models.

Ford’s platform-based strategywhich anticipates that electric vehicle sales will grow over timeallows the company to adjust production to meet the inevitable fluctuations in demand as the market develops, noted Ford CEO Alan Mulally in a media briefing on and drive of the Focus Electric, held in conjunction with the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference in Laguna Niguel, California. The Focus Electric shares 78% of its parts with the conventional Focus, he noted, and comes off the same line.

The Focus Electric is powered by a 23 kWh Li-ion battery pack engineered by Ford using pouch cells from LG Chem; an advanced active liquid cooling and heating system preconditions and regulates the temperature. The pack comprises 430 cells; system peak power is 60 kW charge, 110 kW discharge, and specific power is 0.36 kW/kg. A 105 kW permanent magnetic electric traction motor delivers 188 lb-ft (255 N·m) of torque, and propels the car up to 84 mph (135 km/h).

Ford Focus Electric Cars

The Focus Electric has been certified by the EPA to offer 105 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) combined, with 110 MPGe city and 99 MPGe on the highway. Combined cycle consumption is 32 kWh/100 miles. (Earlier post .) As a comparison, the Nissan LEAF is EPA-certified at 99 MPGe combined, 106 MPGe city and 92 MPGe highway. Consumption is 34 kWh/100 miles, combined cycle.

However, the Focus Electric has a base curb weight of 3,624 lbs (1,644 kg)600 lbs of that the battery pack. The Nissan Leaf (SL) weighs 3,385 lbs (1,535 kg); i.e. the Focus is a heavier car, albeit with a slightly smaller battery pack. (The Leaf uses a 24 kWh pack.)

An on-board 6.6 kW charger enables faster charging than the Leaf with its 3.3 kW chargera benefit Ford is quick to highlight as potentially provided extended useful driving range during a day’s activities.

Ford spent a great deal of engineering effort to maximize the efficiency of the vehicle, as well as to deliver on its goal of making the Focus Electric a Focus that happens to have an electric powertrain, as opposed to a distinctive electric vehicle. The Focus Electric preserves as much of the handling, responsiveness and visual cues of the conventional Focus platform as possible.

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