The Ford Focus Electric is scheduled to be launched next year in the US and 2012 in Europe. The litium-ion battery pack will showcase thermal management technology for the first time which will aid battery longevity, and provide a longer between-charge range.
Lithium-ion batteries heat and cool when varying demands are thrown upon it, just like any other form of energy. The problem with lithium-ion batteries is when they begin to overheat they start to lack in power output and also provide less energy, the same result can occur during extra-cold conditions. Ford has come up with a liquid-cooling and heating design to manage thermal stability for the battery of the upcoming Focus Electric though, which Ford claims will extend the life of the battery as well as maximise the driving range.
Ford Electrification Program and engineering director, Sherif Marakby, explained the system briefly in a recent report,
“All-electric vehicles do not have a conventional engine on-board, so it is critical we maximise the performance of the battery under various operating temperatures. 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 thermal management system will also help maintain temperature stability when the battery is being charged from a powerpoint, by cooling or warming the pack to prepare it for the ambient conditions.
Ford say the car will use no petrol at all – it will be a full-electric vehicle, not a plug-in hybrid – and, with a fully charged battery, provide around 160km in range between charge ups.