Ford Focus BEV unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show

Article by Christian A., on August 29, 2009

With hopes to someday producing an affordable electric car, Ford will soon start trials of its Focus BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) next year. Ford is hard at work to bring a conventional zero-emissions car to the market as soon as it can.

Currently shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the concept car has been specially developed to participate in the UK Government's 'Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicles' demonstration initiative next year.

Starting early 2010, a consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy and Strathclyde University will test the fleet of 15 prototype Focus BEVs and a charging infrastructure in and around the London Borough of Hillingdon.

Production shouldn´t be a complicated process as the BEV is based on a standard Focus using a new all-electric powertrain developed by Magna. The BEV has a 23kw lithium-ion battery pack and a chassis-mounted 100-kilowatt permanent-magnet electric traction motor. The BEV will have a range of up 75 miles and a top speed of 85 mph.

Using a household socket, batteries will require a charging of 6 to 8 hours. John Fleming, Ford of Europe chairman, said that the key element for the effective use of Ford's global resources and talents.

He pointed to the development of this fleet of Focus BEV prototypes as an important step in its goal to deliver more efficient and sustainable mobility solutions that are affordable and practical for its customers.

Press Release

Ford Focus BEV prototype – E-Mobility without compromise in size

At the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, Ford of Europe is revealing the first of a fleet of Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) prototypes based on the Ford Focus, and specially developed to participate in the UK Government's 'Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicles' demonstration initiative next year.

The research programme 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), which promotes innovative industry-led projects that reduce CO2 while benefitting the country's transport system.

“Electrification is a key element in the effective use of Ford's global resources and talents,” John Fleming, Chairman & CEO Ford of Europe said. “The development of this fleet of Focus BEV prototypes is an important step in our goal of delivering more efficient and sustainable mobility solutions that are affordable and practical for our customers. We are looking forward to working with the various project partners on developing a realistic solution and viable market for electric vehicles both in the UK and Europe."

The Focus BEV prototype vehicles
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.

Under the skin of the Ford Focus prototypes is a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery pack with the capacity of 23kWh and a chassis-mounted 100-kilowatt permanent-magnet electric traction motor. The BEV will have a range of up to120 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.

The successful co-operation that is allowing this UK programme to proceed also shows the potential for similar prototype vehicle fleets to be considered for trials in other European countries.

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