Ford's five-year e-car plan will see the motor maker's eco-friendly vehicles spring from its existing lines, not as new, bespoke designs, company CEO Alan Mulally has told Reg Hardware. Speaking one-on-one to Reg Hardware just ahead of his CeBit keynote yesterday, Mulally revealed that the battery powered members of Ford's C1 …
Range, actually quite useful.
"the battery Focus will go for around 90 miles with a full overnight charge from a 240V domestic socket - fine as a second car in a two-car family, but frankly not much use to the rest us."
If charged every night, 90 miles range would do both ways of my daily commute (I appreciate theres a speed/range issue for motorway use), my weekly shop, "dad's taxi" jobs etc etc. I'd be happier if I could charge (and park!) it at work to guarantee the return trip when the battery starts to lose some capacity, but if this was reliable then such a car would become my first car and the fossil burner would be come the backup used for longer weekend trips, power cuts, really bad weather etc
"will hit European showrooms early in 2010"
That's pretty good going.
Quote "A wholly battery-powered Ford Focus will hit European showrooms early in 2010 and will be joined the following year by hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the C-Max mini MP"
Sure about that?
Glad to see someone in the eCar business is talking some sense. If your object is to get a lot more people driving greener cars, perfectly eco-optimised £30,000 cars that are otherwise identical in function to a £12,000 familiy car is clearly not going to work. Only the very well-off, very green people will buy it. For the average person to buy an electic car, its got to be able to replace their current car *at the same price* or you might as well forget it.
There's also the whole range issue, as well, or course, but that's been chewed over enough already, I don't see the need to add to it.
90miles might sound ok but I think that much like current mpg figures there is a large fudge factor there. 90 miles on relatively flat roads with little or no stop/starting and the heater, stereo switched off.
I wonder what the actual range would have been for me in January when morning temps were normally -12C up to -6C in a hilly area with the heater on and the radio and probably charging my mobile too.
Killers, those phone chargers
"and probably charging my mobile too."
Man, that's some mobile you must have there. But I suppose, given that capacity, you could power the car from the phone.
A range of 90miles wouldn't quite be sufficient for my weekly commute (about 100miles), so would need a top-up mid week. But it would be utterly useless for almost every other journey.
If you are happy with a car that only has a range of 90miles and would use it just for commuting to work, why buy something as large as even a Focus or Fiesta?
I Europe, Italy in particular but France also, three wheel scooters are very popular for commuting. It's quite common to to see rows of these bikes parked outside office buildings and to see suited office workers arrive, pop their crash helmet in the top box, remove their briefcase from the rack and then straight into the office.
I know that countries such as Italy obviously have weather more suited to biking than here, but Paris is much closer to our weather and yet you see these scooters everywhere.
But if it is a lack of weather protection that puts you off, there are some available with up-and-over style coverings and/or lap covers so that all you need is a weather proof jacket.
And being a three-wheel scooter they are inherently very stable, so are easy to ride.
With the small capacity 4-stroke engines fitted to them they are very fuel efficient, but if fitted with an electric motor I'm sure you could get much further than 90 miles on a single charge.
I think we need to encourage people away from cars as the answer to our personal transport needs and look at other forms of transport such as electric powered three-wheelers or single/dual occupancy four-wheel cars - anyone for a modern version of the Messerschmitt bubble car?!
"A range of 90miles wouldn't quite be sufficient for my weekly commute (about 100miles), so would need a top-up mid week. "
Oh the suffering. Having to charge the battery pack *twice* in a week.
Three Wheeler Range
"but if fitted with an electric motor I'm sure you could get much further than 90 miles on a single charge."
I'm not so sure about that, the problem is the batteries are still very large, sure a 3 wheeler would be lighter and would suffer from less road drag since it has less conact points and so it could be more energy efficent but its also got far less storage space for those batteries, which means they will have much small capacity batteries in them. I don't think the range would differ very much.
Sounds *quite* honest
With proper new car designs going into the 100s of millions of $ (Crash worthy and meeting emissions standards *anywhere* on Earth)
It makes a *lot* of sense to build an EV or hybrid on the same line, despite the *theoretical* loss of performance when you rule out options like dumping the gear box/drive shaft and having hub mounted motors. This is grossly impractical for anything other than electric drive (although *demonstrated* in the 1930s by IIRC Buckminster Fuller).
This is honest of Ford, but didn't they get a big bag of Federal cash to do *new* EV design?
Thumbs up for at least the *attempt* to shifting this from a lifestyle/point-of-principles choice to a fuel/engine choice.
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"Ford would only say that the Energi will travel 500 miles on a full charge and full tank but not how that splits down between EV and ICE range and that both it and the Hybrid will use Li-ion batteries and a 2.0-litre Atkinson Cycle"
A TWO LITRE engine acting as a genny for a hybrid!? What a waste!
You don't need anything like that size of engine - you only have to look at the performance of one of their newer 1.25l engines to know that Ford - despite being an American company ARE capable of making small, powerful, efficient engines.
Why, in this that should be their flagship "Green (but usable) Car" would they put in a hulking monstrosity like that? Surely it must be to just attract the slack-jawed yanks who think that unless a car has a 3.0 Litre engine then it will be slow.
Focus is still a "big car"
I know we need the space for the batteries, but the modern focus is still a fairly big car.
When my first generation focus was ready for the scrap heap, I looked at the new focus, and it had grown in every direction and weight.
In the end, I went for the new Fiesta, which had also grown, and in fact was the same width and height as the old focus, and only 13cm less in length.
Some real efficiencies could be made by cars stopping this growing cycle, so I wonder what the range would be in a Fiesta with the same batteries as the focus.
As someone who tries to keep cars 6 or 7 years, I'm hoping my next car will be electric, juiced up by my local Nuclear Power Station
The best thing to do is ...
... let the western nations make it illegal to sell or trade petrol/diesel.
That way it will be available under the counter of corner shops, bars, shady corners in pubs, touted on the streets, ... for a fraction of the cost it is presently sold at?
Truth is, electric cars & nuclear powered electricity seem the only way to go given global uncertainties.
500 miles on both full tank and full charge huh?
Wow, that's a bit more than half of what I get on a full tank in my current car.. how useful, and you say I still need to use dino fuel to keep it running for 80% of that? Whoa.
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