Hot Focus Electric, Cool Battery Technology

By Ford Social Member

You know the complaints you hear people spew when the weather gets hot? Well, it’s hard out there for a battery, too. Extreme hotness may not be a problem for, say, George Clooney (or Robert Pattinson, depending on your age/taste), but high temps can potentially affect an electric vehicle’s battery performance and potentially reduce its range.

This meant Ford engineers had to develop an advanced active liquid-cooling and heating system for the new Focus Electric lithium-ion battery to ensure its longevity and that it would be good to go regardless of the weather. “If the battery became too hot, we would have to limit the use of energy to protect it. The liquid cooled system allows us to reduce those constraints and get the most out of the battery,” said Dave Fabricatore, Thermal Program Management Team Engineer.

Curious about that process? The integrated cooling system keeps the different systems in the car at their optimal operating temperatures. The air conditioning system is actually used to refrigerate the coolant going to the battery using a “chiller” (that’s the technical term!), so as the coolant passes through the chiller, it’s brought down to the temperature that the battery requires. Temperature sensors placed all over the Focus Electric let the cooling system know when it needs to kick into action.

This happens even as the car is charging, which can help reduce the charge time in hot climates, since the battery will be kept at a desirable temp.

The Focus Electric will launch in late 2011 in 19 pilot markets. The liquid-cooled battery system will serve as another distinct advantage the Focus Electric will have over other air-cooled all-electric vehicles, especially in the warmer initial launch markets, which will include Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Los Angeles and San Diego as well as Orlando, Fla., Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., Raleigh-Durham, N.C. and Richmond, Va.

In 2012, these models will be joined in North America by the new C-MAX Hybrid, a second next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. Ford intends to launch five electrified vehicles in North America by 2012 and in Europe by 2013.
Alan J 09/07/2012
Lithium batteries generate heat during use. Instead of liquid cooling, could an application of the Seebeck effect be used to generate power from the temperature differences between ambient air and the battery casing?
Patrick 06/26/2011
need a list of the dealerships that are going to carry the EV Focus not all dealerships will be carring the EV Focus in the test market
Mark Halliday 06/14/2011
We need these now not later! Get them to market already!
Destiny 06/13/2011
Like all new products there is room for improvement, this car is just a first step into the next generation of cars. Small inconveniences won't stop me from investing into EVs!
Bill Gubacz 06/13/2011
I built these BEV's last month and was wondering why there was navigation in them. Other than that, love the technology!
Michael Henkel 06/13/2011
Chicago isnt one of the test markets. Bummer!
Salvatore Esposito 06/13/2011
e a bon!!!!!!!!!
Michael Henkel 06/13/2011
I am going to drive to one of the pilot cities and buy one. I cant wait!
Harry Betzel 06/13/2011
theres a new technology of battery right now in the prototype stage so far for smartphones, this battery is thin as a penny charges fully in 90 seconds holds a charge like no other, one day it will be in cars who knows maybe it could go 1000 miles per charge
Glenn Morton 06/13/2011
The new Electric Ford Focus is cool and everything but I cant see me driving one of them becasuse I dont trust it. And I will probilly end up getting stranded when the battery dies because its not made to travel very long trips. Its very nice tho I like it. But again its not what I would drive.
Alan Camp 06/13/2011
Ford should send 1 demo 2012 Focus Electric out to all dealers in the launch market when starting the pre-order process. And make the pre-order a refundable $495, instead of the $99 that Nissan allowed, which created a high false pre-order number and attracting so many who never really intended on buying the car in the first place. This way Ford will be dealing with more real potential customers and more realistic demand for the car, and offer more realistic delivery dates if demand exceeds supply.
Fariba Rassa 06/13/2011
WOW. That's amazing!
Nils Holgerson 06/13/2011
something new!owsome
Curtiss Lichty 06/13/2011
I wanna see a cut-away diagram of the batteries cooling system & how it works.
Tad Miranda 06/13/2011
Blah, try something fast. smh.....
Brandon Kraus 06/13/2011
Is this coming to Northern California bay area or Sacramento?
James Zavala 06/13/2011
Fred Reichert 06/13/2011
Ronald Gillingham 06/13/2011
These technologies are solid and reliable. More important, seamlessly integrated systems make the workings of the underpinnings effortless to the driver, nothing to switch or shift into.
Trevor Mowdy 06/13/2011
This is very interesting
Sarthak Das 06/13/2011