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back to article Ford creates battery-powered Focus

Car giant Ford has released technical details about its Focus-based leccy car – the Focus Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV). Ford_Focus_BEV_02 Focus Battery Electric Vehicle, from Ford To create the Focus BEV, Ford essentially took a regular Focus and replaced its engine, gearbox and fuel tank with a 23kWh lithium-ion battery …

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Check the reg plate...

Would of been cooler if it had said "0'HAIIIIIIIIII"

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Does the "Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicles” tag include how much carbon is generated to charge the vehicle from the (mostly) fossil-fuel powered Generating Stations?

Add that to the mix and it probably *isn't* quite as low-carbon as they would like us to think.

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Anonymous Coward

@A.N Other

Some approximate numbers (not accounting for charging efficiency losses etc.):

Range = 75 miles = 120 km

23 kWh / 120 km = 0.192 kWh/km

UK avg. CO2 emissions per kWh = 0.460kg (http://www.electricity-guide.org.uk/fuel-mix.html)

Vehicle emissions = 0.192 * 0.460 = 0.0882 kg/km = 88.2 g/km

Standard 1.6l Focus 119g/km

Ford Focus ECOnetic from 99g/km

Obviously with renewable/nuclear power the stats will improve.

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Carbon debate - missed point

(slightly)@A.N Other - this is always the argument with 'clean' electric travel. My mate swears blind that it's more damaging to the environment to mine fossil fuel, transport, prepare, burn, create electricity and get it to the charging point than it is to get petrol/diesel into a conventional vehicle. He may be right (feel free to add figures, anyone), but an electric car is cleaner in operation.

The real point, though, is the direction we're going in. In 10 years we may have no choice due to fossil fuels running out, so the development we're going through now may mean we have vastly cleaner ways of creating electricity and super-efficient batteries, power-cells, motors, etc. The result will be e-cars performing as well as petrol cars do now.

Keep the leccy-tech coming - I'm all for it!

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Unhappy

@A.N Other

You might like to know that even from coal fired power stations, electric vehicles are still 60% less polluting than petrol powered cars.

http://green.autoblog.com/2009/07/24/study-even-with-electricity-from-coal-electric-vehilces-beat-g/

It's still so sad that so many car manufacturers are clinging to the idea of using hybrids, when battery technology is good enough to replace fossil fueled cars...and when the major manufacturers do come out with cars (like this Focus variant) they castrate the car instead of giving it some decent batteries and therefore some decent range.

Check out "Who Killed The Electric Car" for more on this.

Tesla, yes please. Lightning, you bet!

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Anonymous Coward

Battery charge cycles

Hmm, my experience running on rechargable batteries , eg. Laptops, is that overtime the usable battery lifetime redues so you need to recharge more frequently. Now I maybe comparing apples to oranges here, but as a consumner I'll need convincing.

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Anonymous Coward

It is just me...

Or is everybody trying to imitate the Toyota Prius? This and the Honda Insight both look extraordinarily this the Prius to me.

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CC

Self defeating purpose

Giving a Low carbon vehicle to a windbag government official seems self defeating since it is those very officials that are at the heart of the global problem.

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@A.N Other

Power stations are more efficient than petrol engines. Reg can we not have a complete ban on anyone who does not realise this ?? PLEASE

@ LuMan "The real point, though, is the direction we're going in. In 10 years we may have no choice due to fossil fuels running out"

What u really think fossil fuels will have run out with in 10 years.........??? I cant believe the stuff people write on here......

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interesting idea

saw an interesting TED talk from Shai Agassi on adopting electric vehicles. It sounds like they have a good plan - replaceable batteries that you lease like gas cylinders and swap at charging stations (perhaps an extension to existing forecourts). The economics sound quite appealing and apparently they have some countries signed up for a trial. I agree that you need to be charging these from some form of renewable source

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and the cost?

dont forget those lithium batteries are toast in 18months daily use. plus has the environmental impact of creating and disposing of said batteries been taken into account?

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@ Danny 14

Nissan and Mitsubishi reckon their electric car batteries will good for 100,000 miles / 10 years and the re-charges needed to hit those figures and still be capable of holding 80% of their charge at the end of their life. Most the nasty stuff in li-ion batteries can be recycled for re-use - its probably cheaper to recycle. Most laptop / phone power packs die an early death due to bad system management and I'm guessing electric cars will have rather more capable power management systems than those found in your average PC.

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Joke

Low emissions

Wouldn't a nuclear powered car have lower emissions and greater range? For the weight and environmental impact of all those batteries, surely I could have a fair size chunk of uranium...

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How practical are plug-in electric cars?

It's all very nice having a plug-in electric car, but that's dependent on you actually being able to plug it in. What percentage of the car-owning population has a dedicated parking spot at home near a safe electricity supply, and what percentage has to use on-street parking or communal parking lots? I can't see many people running a power cable out of their third-floor flat window and across the road to charge up. We would need massive infrastructure to make plug-in cars genuinely useful for many people, with charging points in the street and some method of controlling payment. Is this going to be done? How much will it cost?

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Big Brother

Driveways @ AC 15:57

well, all the houses in the street I live have drives...and the next two streets over. I'd say quite a high % of car owners have drives or garages or some other form of secure off-road parking or similar at their place of work. And so what if electric cars initially only appeal to those of us with drives and two cars. Tough titty on anyone who lives in a third-floor flat. They can't have a garden or a patio either. Life can be tough sometimes.

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100KW and only 85Mph?

Now I've no wish to go whizzing around on public roads at more than 85mph, but that isn't a lot for 100KW or 134bhp. Even with a lot of heavy batteries, top speed would be a lot higher than that on the flat - certainly over 110, and probably more like 120mph. I can only think that the speed is governed down, or that the 100KW is not a continuously related output. However, even if the top speed is modest this thing should accelerate pretty well, even with the weight of batteries - electric motors produce peak torque at zero revs and it should be very fast off the line compared to an IC car of the same peak power output.

As for the Brian 6, thermal power stations are indeed more efficient than petrol engines. However, add in things like transmission overheads, and compare it with a decent diesel, then that gap narrows a lot. As AC at 13:59 works out with Ford's stats and those freely available for the CO2 emission for 1 kWh delivered at the household socket (which includes transmission losses as well as the current mix of nuclear, renewables and fossil, the latter of which includes gas which is relatively low carbon). The very best diesel engines (huge ones in ships) marginally beat steam turbines on thermal efficiency and are way ahead at delivery at the point of propulsion.

My Focus 1.6 is quoted as 119gm CO2 per km - this, at 88.2 gm is clearly better, but a 26% improvement (without taking into account any differences in manufacturing) is not the enormous step forward that is needed. It needs non-fossil fueled electricity to make that work. It may be that the electric car is a little better than that as the range may not involve draining the battery completely (to do so a lot damages it), but I doubt it makes that much difference. There are IC cars around which do a lot better than mine.

Anyway, whatever these issues, at least this is a real car and not one of those theoretical exercises done at a computer.

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Happy

@LuMan: Running out of petroleum?

Surely not.

As petroleum becomes more expensive, it becomes more economical to extract harder to reach stuff. The low-hanging fruit is almost gone, but that still leaves huge amounts still in the ground (50% approximatley), where it can be recovered by injecting steam, CO2, etc.

Currently proven reserves are enough to keep us properly polluted for the rest of MY life. And isn't that the important thing?

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@How practical are plug-in electric cars?

Electric vehicles are going to be a small proportion of new cars sold for at least the next decade, so there's still a huge market among people who do have access to a dedicated parking spot that can be used for charging at home. It may turn out that the relatively high population density of European cities and suburbs make the "battery swap" model more practical, whereas the more spread out suburbs in the US, with suburban driveways, may make charging at home more attractive.

The main problem with the battery swap approach is that battery technology is expected to (and needs to) improve so rapidly over the next decade that standardizing on a particular technology so that battery swaps become practical generates a dilemma - standardize on todays technology so that you can build the critical mass needed to make the process work, or keep adopting the improved technology as it comes along.

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Paris Hilton

...Ford with development of its first production e-car?!?

Are you all scared to use google or something? Ford's first e-car was it's compact Ranger EV truck built in 1998.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Ranger_EV

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Give up on EV for now

The grid's not ready, and won't be for 30-40 years. Less than 0.5% of us can have one of these plug-in cars currently without browning out parts of whole states.

Besides, with the range limits, un-recoupable higher cost (break even point is too far out of whack), and limited vehicle size/capacity, these are not exactly cathing on as primary family vehicles, they're only being used by commuters and single people with few needs.

Clearly H2 is also a non starter since the infrastructure, even if we could deploy it safely, is rediculous is cost and complexity.

The solution? Check out http://www.dotyenergy.com. WindFuels: ordinary gasoline, deisel, jet fuels, and lubricants, made using a process we've had available since WWII, highly refined using modern heat exchangers, more efficint catalysts, improved hydrolisys chambers, and a dozen other improvements. The input is waste CO2 from other saources, like coal plants, and the output is pure fules, with no contaminants or dangerous byproducts (like lots of sulfer), for between $60 and 80 per barrel, completely competitive at $3/gallon at the pump.

This is not vaporware, it's available. Doty is working to have full scale facilities in producting inside 5 years, all they lack is physical investment. The data is available for full review (and has been reviewed by hundreds). The math is real, the science is proven for 50 years. We don't need new cars if we can drive them on carbon nuetral fuel created using off-peak free unlimited energy. The numebrs work, there is enough wind, there is enough coal waste, and we can use our current cars and current fuel infrastructure (while we build out the grid, supported by the expansion of the wind energy market, and in 30-40 years make a switch to a much more technologically sound EV).

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FAIL

Range again...

No one is going to think of these things as anything more than toys till they sort the range out. 75 miles on a charge? Who are they trying to kid?

It's not even as if the Focus is a town car only. It's a family hatchback. That 75 mile range is probably the absolute maximum they could realistically wring out of the thing so trips like Glasgow to Edinburgh and back might find you struggling to get home, especially if it's a cold day, the boot is full and you're running the heater.

Back to the drawing board, hippie Ford boffins. No more lentils for you until the car can do 200 miles on a single charge.

@LuMan - Are you dumber than a sack of wet hammers? The fossil fuel has been running out for decades according to the greenies but those pesky oil companies keep finding more. Hippies want us to live in mud huts, walk and cycle everywhere and un-invent every technology they disagree with. This is their socialist utopian dream and gives rise to the kind of hypocrisy that attends marches to defend the free speech of people halfway around the world but tries to silence anyone opposed to their views.

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letters and/or digits

Considering the power and torque output, this should be capable of about 130mph, but that would probably require a gearbox.

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Part of system

Every time an article appears on an e-car that trumpets 0 emissions we get the same arguments about them not really being 0 emission while the power stations are still burning fossil fuels.

While this is essentially true it should be remembered that the e-car is only a part of the whole picture, generating capacity is undergoing it's own development process. Different parts of the system will arrive at different times and so, yes e-cars are still polluting at the moment but that will not remain true as the rest of the cleaner technologies catch up with the generation side of the equation.

Remember, we are trying to change more than a century's worth of infrastructure and associated vested interests here, that won't happen all at once.

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I've been commuting on an EV for over a year

I have been commuting on an EV (Vectrix maxi scooter) for over a year now, quite successfully. This is definitely the way forward, and all the nay-sayers have their heads stuck too far up their own ICE arses for their own good.

The battery tech has a long way to go yet - these are still early days for EV but everything has to start somewhere. I don't imagine in the early days of the ICE that we had a petrol station on every high street as we do now. The infrastructure for fuelling the EV will come along. Personal transport is here to stay, public transport is an unmitigated failure in this country, there are too many vested interests and its all about money before service.

And so small, light, commuter EV are a sensible first step. Longer range EV can follow as the tech develops, as it absolutely will. EV is here to stay, it will displace ICE in years to come.

We may continue to find fossil fuel for our beloved ICE. The cost of extraction will continue to rise, as will the taxation on it. The environmental impact will not go away without a dramatic and strategic reduction in ICE use.

In EV there will be many false starts and business failures (ie. Vectrix). But as sure as eggs is eggs, we will see EV take an ever increasing presence on our roads.

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all DEAD technology

all this lithium battery stuff is already dead and old technology. this stuff is poisonous to the environment and leaves a nasty legacy. it also uses our current dirty power sources rather than force adoption of newer tech in terms of power.

no, the future of the EV is with fuel cells

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Can I have one please

If it's only got a top speed of 85mph it might stop the missus getting nicked for speeding.

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re:all DEAD technology

acording to a firend who works for a climet change company hydrogen is a very bad greenhouse gass (as bad as n02) so who is talking about polouting

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Anonymous Coward

@It is just me...

Actually, it rather looks like a Ford Focus :)

Honda, Toyota and several other companies copied a lot of Ford's focus Mk1 design when designing the new Civic, Prius and a several other cars. Several other models actually share the same chassis as the Focus Mk2.

The Focus Mk2 (which is this is, the body for the electric car is identical to the production model) was based heavily on the Mk1 design.

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@those who missed the point.

This car (as with all leccy vehicles) is supposed to be *ultra* low carbon, and while it is at the point of use, the carbon pollution is simple shifted elsewhere.

From one of the ACs posts, 119g/km vs 99g/km. Definitely better, but hardly "Ultra Low Carbon Emission".

I'm not against the idea of Electric Vehicles, I just people would be more honest when describing their use and any potential savings.

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@A.N Other

no you have missed the point the car it self IS ultra low carbon and if you have a power plan form a company that gets all it's elecky form wind mills then it IS ultra low carbon just cos most of us chouse not to dose not dis creadit the cars claim

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@mmiied

No I haven't missed the point.

If ACs figures are correct (and I assume they are), then the vehicle generates CO2 while being charged at the rate of "CO2 emissions per kWh = 0.460kg". Fords figures are charging time of 6 to 8 hours.

You *cannot* discount the amount of CO2 generated to charge the vehicle. If it did 400-500 miles on one charge (ie the equivalent of a tank of petrol), then maybe. Or if all our power came from wind or nuclear, then it would be a genuinely "ultra low emission vehicle", but until that day...

I don't discredit the cars claim, just the manufacturers claim.

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Troll

@A.N Other

I am afride we are going to have to disagree on this

I CAN discount the emations form the powerplant cos they are opternal just the same as I can discount the fact I get much worse millage out of my car when I am towing a trailer or have the aircon and windows open

emations form power station <> emations form car cos you CAN EASLEY change how you genrate power you can not easly change how you move your car

if I had a wind farm of my own to charge my car and you had your power petrol power genrator I would get 0 kgco2/km and you would have lots the cars would be identicle so the car it's self is irrevlent to the amount of co2 genrated per km and therefor the car genrated 0co2 per km

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Boffin

All these numbers floating around....

and people bitching about the carbon produced when generating the electricity.

You are forgetting that Petrol or Diesel does not magically appear at the petrol station!

CRUDE oil has to be pumped up out of the ground, what do you think powers the pumps? So you are generating CO2 there.

Also, much of the LPG that sits on top of the oil fields is simply burnt, right there on top of the oil rig - how many tonnes of CO2 do you think THAT generates?

The oil then needs to be pumped or transported to a refinery - frequently on the other side of the planet - More CO2.

Then the refinement process -

Crude Oil doesn't happily split into Butane, Petrol, Kerosene, Diesel etc just if you ask it nicely - you have to heat it up to 400 or 500 Degrees Celsius if my GCSE Chemistry memory serves. More CO2 produced.

Then the refined materials have to be transported to the petrol stations - More HGVs burning Diesel - More CO2.

So if you take all that into account - your arguments look a bit silly now don’t they?

Don't get me wrong - I won't be buying an EV anytime soon - the tech is too immature.

I might be pursuaded but a serial hybrid - if I can get my daily commute (<30Miles) out of pure 'leccy, and fal back to fossil fuel for the couple of dozen times a year I have to drive > 100Miles is a go I'll be as happy as Larry, especially when I get my new house, where I'm planning to install a wind turbine and/or PV Solar Panels.

And this car doesn't look like a Prius - It looks like a Focus!!

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