There are reports coming out stating that Ford will start testing a battery-driven Ford Focus fleet in the UK as early as next year. These models are being developed with government assistance from its Technology Strategy Board which is responsible for promoting projects that are initiated by the industry that involves the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
As of today the government has shelled out a total of 25 million Pounds for 8 carmakers, Ford included, with the aim of getting about 340 electric demo cars on UK streets within six months to a year and a half. Ford Europe is responsible for setting up the electric Ford Focus fleet and it will be revised to accommodate the current technology that has already been tested for the Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) concept found in the Ford Tourneo.
Ford developed the full BEV powertrain exhibited in the Tourneo Connect Concept in partnership with Smith Electric Vehicles, a company which specializes in converting commercial cars for electric applications.
Being part of a different group, Smith Electric Vehicles has also gained government aid to develop the Tourneo Connect BEV Concept a step further. Ford USA has already made it public that it will be offering an electric Transit Commercial vehicle for sale beginning next year.
The power source utilized in the Tourneo Connect BEV Concept that drives the 50kW permanent magnet motor is a 21kWh lithium ion phosphate battery pack, while the drive torque is channeled to the driveshafts by a one-speed transmission. With this arrangement, the car is expected to reach 100 miles at a speed of 80mph in a single charge, while the battery can be fully charged in six to eight hours from a standard mains outlet.
The technology is being developed at the UK research and development center of Ford located in Dunton, Essex, which also develops powertrains for all its European car models. The electric vehicles will be tested in real-world driving conditions in Hillingdon, Middlesex by drivers provided by a project partner called Scottish and Southern Energy.