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Panasonic to supply Li-ion battery cells for Ford’s hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles

Lithium-ion battery cell for plug-in hybrid vehicles (left) and hybrid electric vehicles (right). Click to enlarge.

Panasonic Corporation will supply prismatic lithium-ion battery cells for Ford Motor Company’s Fusion Hybrid Electric and C-Max Hybrid Electric as well as the Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids. Ford is doing the pack work in-house.

The new Ford in-house Li-ion hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) pack delivers peak charge and discharge power of 35 kW, compared to 25 kW and 27 kW, respectively, in the older Fusion hybrid NiMH pack, said Chuck Gray, Chief Engineer - Ford Electrification Engineering, at the SAE Hybrid Vehicle Technologies Symposium. The lighter weight Li-ion pack offers specific power of 0.84 kW/kg, compared to 0.412 kW/kg in the outgoing NiMH pack, he said.

The increased battery power, along with improved electric motor and generator capability, offset the decrease in combustion engine performance in the new Fusion that would have resulted from the switch to a 2.0L Atkinson from the earlier 2.5L Atkinson and the optimization of gear ratios for fuel economy.

The lithium-ion battery supply agreement with Ford Motor Company builds on a long-term partnership between the two companies. Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd, which was acquired by Panasonic last year, has been supplying Ni-MH battery systems for the Ford Escape hybrid vehicle since 2004.

The company’s battery systems have been powering the Ford Escape Hybrid, and the company’s battery cells have been powering the Ford Fusion Hybrid, and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.

The partnership now expands to lithium-ion battery cells for the four Ford hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. Battery cells are delivered in cell stack configuration to increase transportation efficiency and reliability.

Panasonic is already supplying nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery cells and systems for hybrid electric vehicles to a growing number of automotive manufacturers around the world, including Ford Motor Company as well as lithium-ion battery cells and systems for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.



Any data on the energy density and the total energy storage capability of the new battery packs?


excited to see a plug in option with ford's eco boost!

Nick Lyons

@philmcneal: Ford's plugins will combine Atkinson cycle with their power-split hybrid architecture, similar to Toyota's approach. Ecoboost goes into the non-hybrid models. I suppose Ford could use turbo'd Miller-cycle with their hybrid setup, but costs would escalate, I think.

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