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Ford Selects Compact Power to Supply Li-ion Battery Pack for Ford Focus Electric On Sale in US in 2011

Ford has selected Compact Power, Inc. (CPI), a wholly owned subsidiary of LG Chem, as the supplier of lithium-ion battery packs for the 2011 Ford Focus Electric for the US market. (Earlier post.) CPI/LG Chem are also supplying the battery packs for the Chevrolet Volt.

The Focus Electric battery packs will leverage CPI and parent company LG Chem’s expertise in advanced prismatic lithium-ion cells and advanced liquid-cooled modules and battery management systems. The cells will incorporate LG Chem’s proprietary chemistry and its safety-reinforced-separator technology that provides high safety performance.

CPI, based in Troy, Mich., will begin battery pack assembly for the Ford Focus Electric next year and is finalizing production site selection for the US. The lithium-ion cells for the packs will initially be sourced from Korea through LG Chem. LG Chem and CPI will be localizing cell production at their new site in Holland, Mich.

Focus Electric will have a targeted range of up to 100 miles per full charge with zero tailpipe emissions. It is one of five electrified vehicles Ford is bringing to market in the US in the next two years. These include the Transit Connect Electric, a small commercial van in 2010; Focus Electric in 2011; two new lithium-ion battery-powered hybrids; and a plug-in hybrid in 2012.

Focus Electric, a full battery electric passenger car, will be produced at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., which will begin producing gasoline versions of the all-new 2011 Focus later this year.

Ford previously announced plans to invest $550 million to transform Michigan Assembly Plant from a large SUV factory to a modern car plant to build the new Focus and Focus Electric. The plant also will produce a next-generation hybrid and a plug-in hybrid in 2012. All of the vehicles will be built off the company’s new global C-car platform.

This complements Ford’s overall strategy to establish a center of excellence in Michigan for electrification of a broad range of vehicles, including lithium-ion battery-powered hybrids, plug-ins and pure electric vehicles.

CPI is an emerging leader in the lithium-ion battery field and we are pleased to have them as a strategic supplier as we prepare to bring the Ford Focus Electric to market. We are moving aggressively with our electrification strategy and our work to help make Michigan a center of excellence for a range of electrified vehicles.

—Sherif Marakby, Ford director, Sustainable Mobility Products and Hybrid programs



It seems that Ford may become USA's electrified vehicle leader by 2012.

This may propel Ford in first place for many years.

Very interested to see their new PHEV and BEV models.


By adapting a car designed for ICE and sizing the (heavy) battery pack for a 100 mile range, they are ensuring their first BEV will suffer from poor efficiency, performance, and handling. That will turn people off to BEVs, ensuring continuing demand for gas burners. Better to use a lighter 50-mile battery and have a car people will really like. The great majority of people don't drive more than 50 miles per day. Also, if they were sincere about moving to electric, they would stop lobbying against an increase in the gasoline tax. As it is, the Focus Electric seems to be a PR effort.


The EV1 had an 80 mile range and people loved it. It weighed 3000 lbs and had 1100 lbs of lead acid batteries. The FE is likely to have 400 lbs of batteries because Li-Ions have 3-4 times the capacity of lead acid. Batteries can be distributed around the car most likely in a "T" shape with a low center of gravity. This will likely give better handling than the ICE version. The motor and controller fit nicely under the hood of an ICE car. If the motor puts out enough hp, it should accelerate well.

Even though 80% of consumers drive less than 40 miles per day, 50 miles wouldn't be enough range for marketability. The 100 mile range is probably under optimal conditions, maybe a normal city driving cycle. But lots of people have a lead foot, and temperature and charging time affect the range. Quick charging only gets 50-80% and other factors can limit the charge. So 100 mile range is conservative for the possible demands.


Specially designed ultra light BEVs may not be around until the next EV generation, sometime between 2015 and 2025. Meanwhile, rather heavy (proven) vehicles that can be equipped as regular ICEV or PHEV or BEV may be the most common approach. A one design fit all is cheap to build.

Second generation BEVs will have access to improved batteries with at least twice or even three times the energy density. Coupled with optional ultra light bodies, the current 100 miles e-range will go as high 300+ miles. Even future PHEVs (if still required) could have up to 100 miles e-range without having a very heavy battery.

Batteries energy density has to go from 200 Wh/Kg to something close to 600 Wh/Kg for practical all around BEVs.


Or we could just electrify the highways so that people who drive long distances can get their electrons by driving over a coil in the road and save their battery power for the city streets.


The BBC car show Top Gear tested the Tesla Roadster alongside the conventionally powered Lotus Elise (the Tesla is based on the Lotus). While they found that the Tesla's acceleration was impressive, it's handling was a little scary around their track due to the substantial extra weight. Perhaps in everyday driving the heaviness won't be noticed by the typical American driver, and perhaps the typical American driver will shy away from a BEV that does not have a large margin of range. On the other hand, I doubt the typical American driver will not buy a BEV for years to come. I also doubt Congress will raise the gas tax (the American Petroleum Institute is lobbying hard with checkbook in hand).

Time will tell. I hope the Focus Electric does well, and the purpose-built Nissan Leaf and Think City BEVs, and all the others in the crop of BEVs soon to arrive.

Perhaps we have to ease through a transition stage with hybrid/bastard cars. I for one will welcome a time when I do not have to deal with all the gas, oil, anti-freeze, fluid leaks, exhaust systems, filters, water pumps, and all the other things needed to make an ICE function. Hybrids no longer do it for me; cars with two complete propulsion systems make no sense. Extra weight and complexity.


As George W. Bush said "Electric cars don't have to look like golf carts anymore."

The weight vs. horsepower problem has been around for 100 years. Electric cars don't have to be light anymore. I don't want a light car, gas or electric, because it trades safety and smooth ride for range. If you want to go 300 miles in six hours, without stopping, buy an ICE car. Otherwise if you're one of millions like me who never go more than 50 miles in one day, the existing Li-Ions do the job in a converted ICE model.
Quick charging infrastructure can be built as these cars are introduced. It doesn't require any new technology, just a new substation, which the power companies will be glad to install.

Alexandre Beaudet

Does anybody know what kind of motor will go in the Focus, and who will manufacture it (assuming it's not a Ford product)?

Stan Peterson

Strategically, Ford has conducted a Coup.

Its copy of the Toyota HEV architecture is in danger of being bypassed by newer and better designs such as EREVs and PHEVs from GM, which uses LG Chem's Li-Ion batteries supplied by its CPI subsidiary.

The selection and use of these CPI batteries will limit the number of such vehicles GM can produce in a capacity constrained environment.

For the people desiring a pure EV the Leaf and Cinquecento EV are both light enouhg and tiny enough to be much more practical, as would a Ford Ka EV or Fiesta EV.

But they wouldn't deprive GM of as many batteries, for its Volt and Cadillac XTS...


"Ford is using a system already developed by Magna International..."


It's just another EV that might sell OK (for an EV) and help push total EV sales above 3%, I hope.

I am sure they could make the car weigh 1/3 less if it were purpose built for electric power and increase price by no more than 50% - good luck selling that.

When affordable batteries come out they will probably recall these bricks and crush them
- just kidding.


I think this is great, it will give an alternative to the Leaf and we will see how many sell. Once people realize that 100 mile range is good enough for 90% of their uses and costs only $22,500 after rebate, then they might just sell in numbers.


Base MSRP:$30,000
Est. tax credit:$7,500
Technology:Electric Vehicle
Body type:Sedan
Range:100 miles
Battery size:23 kWh


And on top of this President Obama just inaugurated the 9th EV battery company to break ground in the USA with the CPI groundbreaking today. With all these battery companies coming online and Ford, GM, Nissan, Toyota and Tesla building competitive, good quality PHEVs and EVs - things at Green Car Congress are looking up.

Nice to see that a single vision can manifest in the world sphere as it appears electrification of transport is. That takes care of the technology left brain activity. We still need coherent arts and architecture programs to beautify a world that has fallen victim to "function over form." Aesthetic efficiency is missing from engineering schools and there appear to be few architects with anything more than a t-square getting funding. That MUST change!

And putting an end to mob rule would also benefit civilization. But all in all, a darned good day!


There are many good designers and engineers, but the "bottleneck" has been and still is funding. If it is not immensely profitable in the short run, it receives NO consideration at all.


Leaf and Focus still need to compete against the Prius. You can get a 2010 Prius for $22,000 base sticker price.
55mpg. 500+ mile range. Nice handling, proven technology.

I'm signed up to be in line to buy a Leaf. But at $25K, if it isn't a better "car" than the Prius, I won't buy it.

Same goes for Focus.

Chevy Volt just might be onto something until the batteries get better. Electric drive with a much simplified ICE operating at constant load.

charging during the day is bad. I hope a large infrastructure does not spring up. This will add to the grid demand as opposed to charging at home at night which will not add to peak demand (thus more power plants).


Very true TM. It is better at the early stages of EV rollout to keep people conditioned to charging at night. That IS where we have enough excess capacity to power nearly 100M EVs without building additional power plants.

Of course offloading energy production to distributed residential power units is another way to protect the grid and guarantee energy independence. All while being far greener than coal-fired power plants.

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