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Ford Shows Focus BEV Prototype at Frankfurt

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.


Henry Gibson

A good one kW motor might produce 100 kW of power for a few microseconds or even much longer. But a casual look at the reported numbers shows that you can have a maximum of 13.8 minutes of operation in this car at 100kW. This means that you can go only twenty miles.

With a range of 75 miles, this car actually uses about 300 watt hours per mile. If there is an assumed average speed of 75 MPH, then the maximum average power used is 23 kw or 30 hp.

To many people, the mention of horse power or kW of an engine implies that it is used or needed much of the time. This is not the case, and the advertised horsepower of an automobile motor or engine is never available at the wheels or even at the transmission. On the other hand, 100 watt light bulbs use 100 watts. One kW pumps will pump at one kW if connected correctly.

The examination of the actual produced power of an internal combustion engine compared to the rated power is much more complex, but with several now cheap additional sensors, the engine control computers are more than capable enough to calculate and display the actual power delivered to the wheels, the rate fuel is being used in watts, the efficiency of the engine and the fuel use efficiency. The fuel use efficiency decreases with speed. Such indicated values could train people how to drive more efficiently. No automobile producer would want the customer to know that his 300 hp engine produced an average of 15 when being driven.

The low average produced power of an engine is the best argument for hybrids, especially series hybrids.

It is true that a large or even standard sized motor vehicle requires 20 to 50 kW to operate at high speeds up some motorway grades continuously, and vehicles needed to be used frequently that way must have that ability, but most use of motor vehicles requires far less power. It is even not a great disadvantage to climb a hill at lower speed than the maximun allowed, lorries do it all the time because it is not economical to buy and operate an engine large enough to climb at full speed.

At zero speed the power production of an electric motor is zero; There is a great deal of torque available at zero speed. Permanent magnet motors are not as well suited for traction as are induction motors or Switched Reluctance motors because the motors without magnets are more resistant to heat and overloads.

The drive electronics and the car motors themselves are very expensive for most of the production and prototype electric drive cars. Their cost and complexity is not worth the money in most cases because the additional cost is never repaid by the increased efficiency and in many cases, such as this proposed car, the system is un economically excessively large for most automobile use. Lower power DC motors with brushes could be used with simple controls that have no high power electronics. The variety of ways that field coils of electric motors can be used to modify the performance may well be worth their expense in efficiency and cost. Regeneration is cheaply available with field coils.

High electrical efficiency is actually not greatly needed in electric cars, and electric regeneration is sometimes not even worth the cost to implement it in most cars. High efficiency is obviously not needed in automobiles in general, since they are either parked most of the time, only carry a productive load of five percent of their weight or are moving at very low power. Simple resistors connected to the terminals of brushed traction motors will save brake wear as they do in locomotives.

TATA is now needed to make a Plug-in-Hybrid with Nickel-Iron or lead batteries and a 2 kW range extender. ..HG..


As my dad said.. the only car thats ok to be underpowered is the car behind you.


No automobile producer would want the customer to know that his 300 hp engine produced an average of 15 when being driven.

Where did you get that idea from? Of all the cars in the world, the supreme supercar that rules them all (the 1001 hp Bugatti Veyron) features a power gauge.

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