For the last couple of years we have see the electric vehicle (EV) market on the move. It is something we have been watching with great fascination here at From the success of the Tesla Roadster (despite some bad reviews) to the launch of U.S. made electric microcars, the TH!NK City, to the role out of the first mass-produced electric car, the Nissan LEAF, we have see a lot of industry progress. Then Old Man Winter blew in and started to spoil the "fun in the sun" days that EVs were having. It turns out that batteries don’t like the cold and we have seen the results in most of the EV test cars including the MINI E, Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Volt. The biggest and most widely seen issue is a reduction in overall vehicle range.

Then came the 2012 Ford Focus Electric with many class-leading features and a recharge-time to beat current competition. That isn’t the only trick up Ford’s sleeve, they announced last week that the 2012 Ford Focus Electric will also be less susceptible to the cold and therefore more capable in climates where snow is prevalent—like oh say the Rocky Mountain region. The secret is an advanced active liquid-heating system.

“Batteries are similar to people as they both achieve maximum performance working under moderate, unchanged temperatures,” said Sherif Marakby, Ford Director of Electrification Programs and Engineering. “Using a liquid-heated battery system allows Ford to keep the Focus Electric’s battery at a moderate temperature and improve performance whether you are charging or driving in a cold climate.”

Ford isn’t the only one that has this type of technology; Telsa also employs similar battery management technology. So we could look at the 2012 Ford Focus Electric and say that you are getting $100,000 technology for a third of the price. That said, Ford is showing their significant amount of research and development in the EV segment. Marakby said it best: “Focus Electric wasn’t built just for consumers in warm cities with consistent temperatures. We want our consumers to know they can count on their electric vehicle whether you live in a cold or warm climate.”


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[Source: Ford]