At the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, Ford of Europe is showing the first of a fleet of Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) prototypes based on the Ford Focus, and specially developed to participate in the UK Government’s “Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicles” demonstration initiative next year.
The research curriculum aims to test the technology’s suitability for possible future utilization in Ford’s European passenger car range.
A consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy and Strathclyde University will use the formation of 15 prototype Ford Focus BEV vehicles and charging support in and around the London Borough of Hillingdon from early 2010.
This new BEV display fleet is being acquired partly with public funding from the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which supports innovative industry-led designs that reduce CO2 while benefitting the country’s transport policy.
“Electrification is a key element in the effective use of Ford’s global resources and talents,” John Fleming, Chairman & CEO Ford of Europe said. “The development of this fleet of Focus BEV prototypes is an important step in our goal of delivering more efficient and sustainable mobility solutions that are affordable and practical for our customers. We are looking forward to working with the various project partners on developing a realistic solution and viable market for electric vehicles both in the UK and Europe.”
The Focus BEV prototype cars
The Focus BEV prototype is based on the current European Ford Focus and will use a new all-electric powertrain, given by the strategic supplier Magna. This technology is based on that being developed for Ford’s new-generation C-sized global vehicle architecture and which will be launched in North America in 2011.
To assess whether this technology is proper for European road and driving conditions, a fleet of 15 European Focus BEV prototypes is being produced. These cars will deliver local zero-emission mobility without forcing the user needs and providing room for five passengers, a reasonable boot and other Ford Focus attributes.
Under the skin of the Ford Focus prototypes is a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery pack with the capacity of 23kWh and a chassis-mounted 100kW permanent-magnet electric traction motor. The BEV will have a range of up to 75 miles and a top speed of up to 85mph. Charging the batteries will take between six to eight hours using a common 230-volt grid.
The prototype combines key components from Ford’s proven North American hybrid technology, including the electric climate control system.
The high-voltage air-conditioning compressor is a key feature of the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, recently introduced in the North American market.
The prosperous co-operation that is allowing this UK plans to proceed also shows the potential for alike prototype vehicle fleets to be studied for trials in other European countries.
Ford Focus BEV Prototype Technical Data
Battery Technology : Lithium-Ion Tri-Metal
Battery Capacity : 23 kWh
Charging time : 6-8 hours (230 V grid)
Electric motor: Permanent-magnet motor
Max Power : 100 kW
Max Torque : 320 Nm
Top speed : 85mph
Range : 75 miles
Tourneo Connect BEV Concept
The Ford Focus BEV prototype being exhibited at Frankfurt joins the Ford Tourneo Connect BEV Concept which had its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.
Like the Focus BEV prototype, the Tourneo Connect BEV Concept demonstrates how Ford Motor Company’s aggressive electric vehicle plan announced at the start of this year is extending its potential to Europe.
Full battery-electric conversions for the Ford Transit and Transit Connect commercial vehicles are already marketed in Europe by UK-based specialist, Smith Electric Vehicles. The Tourneo Connect BEV Concept shows how this silent, zero-emission full battery electric technology could be deployed in passenger vehicles for urban applications such as taxis or hotel shuttles.
Ford of Europe and Smith Electric Vehicles are watching reaction to the Tourneo Connect BEV Concept to determine potential business viability. Ford has already published in North America that it will partner with Smith Electric Vehicles (Tanfield group) to offer a Transit Connect BEV vehicle in the US market in 2010.
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