Ford's electric Focus to get 100-plus-mile battery range

Company will use liquid cooling to keep lithium-ion battery operating at optimal temperatures.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Automaker Ford plans to use an innovative, thermally managed lithium-ion battery system in its forthcoming Ford Focus Electric vehicle -- which should have the effect of extended the gas-free driving range.

The technology uses a liquid cooling method to keep the battery within certain temperature parameters -- like Goldilocks, not too cold and not too hot. Here's the explanation from Sherif Marakby, director of Ford's electrification program and engineering:

"All-electric vehicles do not have a conventional engine on board, so it is critical we maximize the performance of the battery under various operating temperatures. Active liquid systems are more effective than air systems at regulating lithium-ion battery temperature. As a result, the active liquid system on Focus Electric will play a key role in providing our customers with the best performance possible."

The net effect is that the car is supposed to get a range of 100 miles per charge.

The Focus Electric is due in the U.S. marketing in late 2011. Ford has five electrified vehicles under development for release over the next three years. The Ford Transit Connect Electric small commercial van is due in late 2010.

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