Ford Motor Company: Europe
Ford continues to leverage innovative technology to meet the challenges of creating ever-more efficient electrified vehicles. Building on years of experience with the Escape Hybrid and the more recent Fusion Hybrid in North America, Ford’s smart technologies will form the basis for the five new electrified models coming to Europe.
Electric and C-MAX Energi
Ford worked with a supplier to provide an industry-standard five-point plug for C-MAX Energi and new Focus Electric that is ergonomically comfortable to hold as well as durable and distinctively designed. The plug handle uses a matte-finished black rubber for a comfortable, non-slip grip and the plug head is shielded with a glossy white hard plastic to protect the electronics.
When the cord set connector is plugged into the vehicle’s charge port, which is located conveniently between the driver’s door and front wheel well, it activates a light ring that loops around the port twice in acknowledgement of connectivity. The light ring then illuminates in quadrants as the vehicle charges. Flashing quadrants represent charge in progress and solid-lit quadrants show stages of charge completion. When the entire ring is solidly lit, the vehicle is fully charged.
Future owners of Focus Electric in Europe will recharge their vehicle’s on-board Li-ion battery packs using the 230-volt convenience cord that comes with the vehicle. When plugged in, the Focus Electric on-board charger converts AC power from the electric grid to DC power to charge the liquid-cooled/heated battery pack within 8-9 hours, using a standard wall plug, and 5-6 hours using a dedicated charging box.
Furthermore, the powerful on-board charging equipment can charge the Focus Electric in just 3-4 hours if the car is plugged into an appropriate public charging station.
“With so many of us accustomed to recharging mobile electronics on a daily basis, we’re confident our customers will take to the vehicle recharging process just as easily, because that’s exactly what it is – easy,” said Nancy Gioia, Ford director of Global Electrification. “Not only have we made the practice of plugging in simple and straightforward, we’re working with leading technology companies and the utility industry to make the EV experience empowering and engaging.”
Daily charging is recommended for C-MAX Energi PHEV to maximise the use of electric driving mode, but it’s not necessary for vehicle operation. Thanks to the efficiencies of its battery system, the plug-in hybrid easily recharges 100 per cent overnight on a standard household power outlet.
Charging of the Transit Connect Electric also uses the same five-point plug as the C-MAX Energi and Focus Electric. Fully charging its state-of-the-art lithium ion battery pack takes approximately eight hours using a household 230-volt electricity supply and will give a range of up to 130 km (80 miles) and a top speed of 120 km (75 mph).
Focus Electric, Transit Connect Electric and upcoming hybrid/plug-in hybrid vehicles will use advanced lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery systems. Each system is designed to maximise use of common, high-quality components, such as control board hardware that has proven field performance in Ford’s critically acclaimed hybrid vehicles.
Li-ion battery packs offer a number of advantages over the nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries that power today’s hybrid vehicles. In general, they are 25 to 30 per cent smaller and 50 per cent lighter, making them easier to package in a vehicle, and can be tuned to increase power to boost acceleration, or to increase energy to extend driving distance.
Thermal managed batteries
As extreme temperatures can affect a battery’s performance, thermal management of lithium-ion battery systems is critical to the success of pure electric vehicles. The Ford Focus Electric and Transit Connect Electric uses advanced active liquid cooling and heating system to precondition and regulate the temperature in its larger, more complex lithium-ion battery system as long as the vehicle is plugged in.
- The active liquid system heats or chills a coolant before pumping it through the battery cooling system. This loop regulates temperature throughout the system against external conditions.
- On hot days, chilled liquid absorbs heat from the batteries, dispersing it through a radiator before pumping it through the chiller again.
- On cold days, heated liquid warms the batteries, gradually bringing the system’s temperature to a level that allows it to efficiently accept charge energy and provide enough discharge power for expected vehicle performance.