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Ford's Innovative Liquid-Cooled Battery System

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On: Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 9:33AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford's Innovative Liquid-Cooled Battery System

The Ford Focus Electric debuts in the U.S. late next year and in Europe in 2012. The Focus will be powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery that employs heated and cooled liquid to help maximize battery life as well as all-electric-powered driving range. Focus Electric is one of five new electric vehicles that Ford plans to launch over the next several years in North America. The all-electric Ford vehicle will not use any gas and is expected to have a driving range of up to 100 miles.

According to Ford, “Thermal management of lithium-ion battery systems is critical to the success of all-electric vehicles because extreme temperatures can affect performance, reliability, safety and durability." Ford implemented an advanced active liquid-cooling and heating system to help control the temperature of the lithium-ion batteries which enables them to power the vehicle at optimal conditions in any temperature.

“All-electric vehicles do not have a conventional engine on board, so it is critical we maximize the performance of the battery under various operating temperatures,” said Sherif Marakby, Ford director, Electrification Program and Engineering. “Active liquid systems are more effective than air systems at regulating lithium-ion battery temperature, as a result, the active liquid system on Focus Electric will play a key role in providing our customers with the best performance possible."

The new innovative cooling and heating system also allows the new Focus Electric vehicle to “precondition” the battery temperature daily when the battery is charging. The system will be able to warm up the battery on cold winter days and cool off the battery during the heat of summer.

“Extreme temperatures impact a battery’s life and performance, making it crucial to have an effective cooling and heating system to regulate temperature for these demanding applications,” said Anand Sankaran, Ford executive technical leader, Energy Storage and HV Systems.

The liquid cooling system also charges the vehicle. When the electric car is charging, “the vehicle control system will automatically precondition the battery, if needed, to the optimal temperature before accepting charge. If the battery is already at the optimal temperature, the system will automatically accept charge and maintain an optimal temperature,” according to Ford News.com

The new electric Focus will be built at the retooled Ford Michigan Assembly Plant. Ford plans to launch the new electric vehicle in late 2011.

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