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Ford Focus Electric Will Offer Easy Ways To Charge Up

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On: Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 9:57AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Focus Electric Will Offer Easy Ways To Charge Up

The new Ford Focus Electric vehicle (one of 5 new electric vehicles Ford plans to launch in the next 3 years) will be unveiled in late 2011 and Ford is already figuring out convenient ways for consumers to recharge their Fords. Designs range from the 240 volt conversion kit that will allow the Focus to be quickly charged from any residential electrical outlet, to Ford's innovative plan to easily charge the all-electric Focus in remote locations. Not only will consumers be able to recharge their electric Ford vehicles from a wall-mounted 240 volt charging station in their homes, a 120 volt “convenience cord” will enable them to charge up at standard plug-ins in remote locations as well.

Director of the Ford Electrification program Sherif Marakby stated: “Focus Electric owners can look forward to having a ‘refueling’ device they can call their own.” Marakby also stated: “Since Focus Electric owners are likely to handle one of the charge cords two or more times every day, we’re providing a distinctive and durable device for their plugging-in experience.”

The Ford Focus electric is estimated to travel 100 miles on a single electric charge in its liquid-cooled battery pack. Recharging is expected to take 12 hours with a 120 volt plug-in and only 6-8 hours with 240 volts.

The 25 foot, three-pronged electric plug, designed specifically for Ford’s electric Focus, connects to the car with 5 prongs that adapt to the type of electric current that will enter the port including either 120 or 240 volts.

On average Ford Focus is projected to get plugged in between 2-4 times per day, which is nearly 1,500 times per year, which inspired Ford to seek an ergonomically correct design for the connector. Ford conducted studies to help design the plug handle as well as the charge port height and insertion angle.

“We tried handles inspired by hockey sticks and curling irons, but found that a grip diameter similar to a tennis racket handle worked best for the widest range of users,” said Cary Diehl, Ford human factors engineer. “More than most automotive devices, Focus Electric’s cord set connector has given us an opportunity to think outside the box and find inspiration from non-automotive consumer goods.”

Yazaki, Ford’s supplier partner, conducted extensive tests on Focus Electric’s cord set connector to ensure the long term durability. “We put the cord set connector through more abuse than it’s ever likely to endure in the hands of Focus Electric owners,” said Katie Pecoraro, project engineer. “We want our customers to have peace of mind knowing that their means of recharging the vehicle will be well designed and durable—just like the vehicle itself.”

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