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Ford showcased its electric Focus at the Canadian Auto Show in Toronto last month, making another step forward in EV and hybrid technology. The Focus Electric uses a battery that provides additional power and longer range by using an “advanced active liquidheating system”. This regulates the battery temperature, heating or cooling water which in turn warms or cools the battery and prevents extreme weather conditions from slowing the vehicle down.
The lithiumion batteries used in electric and hybrid cars give optimum performance under moderate temperatures. By keeping the Focus Electric’s battery at a constant temperature, both charging and driving will be more efficient, especially in cold climates.
Sherif Marakby, Ford’s director of Electric Programs and Engineering said, “A liquid-heated battery can accept a charge faster from the regenerative braking that recaptures kinetic energy and sends it back to the battery, essentially providing longer range for the customer in real world cold weather conditions. Additionally, since acceleration in an electric vehicle comes from the power available in the battery, the customer will have more power available if the battery is warmer."
Ford is currently planning to release five new electric vehicles in Europe by 2013, with the Focus Electric due in 2012. The model is expected to have a range of 100 miles and feature an on-board charger that provides twice the power of its rivals, meaning it can charge in under 4 hours.