Ford Announces Battery Supplier For 2012 Focus Electric

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Ford doesn't get nearly as many headlines for its upcoming 2012 Focus Electric sedan as other makers may, but the car is still on track to join the 2011 Nissan Leaf and 2011 Chevrolet Volt a year or so after those two electric cars launch.

Production has now moved one step closer, as Ford Motor Co. has picked the company that'll be supplying the batteries for the Focus Electric. The contract goes to Compact Power Inc. of Troy, Michigan, a division of South Korea's LG Chem Ltd.

Compact Power will begin production of the battery packs next year. The lithium-ion cells are being provided by LG Chem and the packs themselves will be produced in a new $300 million plant in Holland, Michigan.

Yesterday, President Barack Obama visited the Holland plant as part of his administration's push towards electric vehicle development.

Despite less press compared to the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, the Focus Electric is still due to be an important model when it arrives on the market. As a major competitor to Nissan and Chevy, the car heads Ford's charge to bring five new EVs to the market.

Our editor John Voelcker drove a prototype of the Focus EV back in April last year, and proclaimed it to feel almost production ready even at such an early stage of development.

Production of the gasoline version of the 2012 Ford Focus will begin next year, with the electric version following soon afterwards.

[Wall Street Journal]

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