The research program 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 15 prototype Ford Focus BEVs and a charging infrastructure in and around the London Borough of Hillingdon from early 2010.
The 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 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 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.
The prototype features a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery pack with the capacity of 23kWh and a chassis-mounted 100kW permanent-magnet electric traction motor.
The BEV will have a range of up to 120 kilometres and a top speed of up to 140km/h. Charging the batteries will take between six to eight hours using a domestic outlet.
With Ford UK