At the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, Ford of Europe revealed the first of a fleet of Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) prototypes based on the Ford Focus (earlier post), and specially developed to participate in the UK Government’s Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicles demonstration initiative next year.
|The Focus BEV prototype. Click to enlarge.|
The research program aims to test the technology’s suitability for potential future application in Ford’s European passenger car range. A consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy and Strathclyde University will use the fleet of fifteen prototype Ford Focus BEV vehicles and a charging infrastructure in and around the London Borough of Hillingdon from early 2010.
The vehicles will be used by both the Scottish and Southern as well as a number of evaluation drivers located in Hillingdon. This new BEV demonstration fleet is being developed partly with public funding from the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB).
The Focus BEV prototype is based on the current European Ford Focus and will use a new all-electric powertrain, provided 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 evaluate whether this technology is suitable for European road and driving conditions, a fleet of fifteen European Focus BEV prototypes is being built. These cars will deliver local zero emission mobility without constraining the user needs and providing room for five passengers, a practical boot and other Ford Focus attributes.
The Ford Focus BEV use a 23 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a chassis-mounted 100 kW permanent-magnet electric traction motor that delivers 320 N·m of torque. The BEV will have a range of up to 120 km (75 miles) and a top speed of up to 136 km/h (85 mph). Charging the batteries will take between 6-8 hours using a common 230 volt grid.
The prototype incorporates 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.