Ford debuts all-electric car
See the video from CES 2011 below
IDG News Service - Ford Motor Company debuted its first all-electric vehicle, the Focus Electric, at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show Friday. It is one of five new electrified vehicles that will be available in North America and Europe by 2013.
The announcement is particularly significant because it's the first time that the company has announced a car outside of a major auto show.
Ford was vague on the Focus' performance specifications. "It's a bit early to talk about the powertrain, but certainly the range will be competitive with other battery electric vehicles," said Derrick Kuzak, vice president of product development at Ford.
To benchmark, the Nissan Leaf, also an electric vehicle, has a range of 100 miles and top speed of about 90 mph. The Focus' top speed is 84 mph.
Kuzak said the Focus electric will recharge in about three to four hours, which according to him is about half the time of competitors.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally said that some challenges to overcome in the future will be cost and charging infrastructure.
"The cost of batteries for the all electrics and the size and the charging requirements are going to be relatively limited for the near term until we get the infrastructure in place and we get more capable and more cost effective batteries.
To help with the charging infrastructure, Ford has partnered with Best Buy and Leviton to install home charging stations, costing about $1,500 each.
"The home charging station will be 220 volts and allows the three- to four-hour charge time and also provides value charging," Kuzak said. Value charging means that the unit will charge the car when energy prices are the lowest. Kuzak said its designed to provide the best cost of ownership for customers.
The car is powered by a lithium-ion battery system made by Ford and LG Chem. The system uses heated and cooled liquid to maximize battery life. For example, on cold days, a heated liquid will warm the batteries and bring them to a temperature that can efficiently accept a charge and provide enough power for expected vehicle performance.
Ford wouldn't say how much the Focus Electric would cost, but for comparison the Nissan Leaf costs about $32,000.
Mulally thinks that electric is only the beginning for alternatively fueled cars saying, "I think overtime we'll even see more hydrogen vehicles."
Ford admits that electric cars aren't for everyone though.
"Customers who choose an electric vehicle at this point are really making a statement," Kuzak said. "They're making a statement about their environmental sensitivity, their energy independence and we'd like to support them."
The Ford Focus Electric will be available in late 2011.
- Five questions for IT from CES
- Visual tour: Top tablets from CES
- CES: 11 tablets worth watching
- CES in 2011 was likely biggest in three years, says CEA
- Lenovo looks at tablets to expand mobile operations
- CES: Hard drive withstands drops, submersion, gunfire
- CES 2011 daily video update: Green computing, Ludacris headphones and wireless charging
- Intel says Light Peak interconnect technology is ready
- Microsoft's slow, steady tablet strategy a big gamble
- CES 2011 daily video update: Panasonic TV tablet, Verizon 4G phones, Ford cars
- The Business Value of Continuous Delivery Download this whitepaper to learn more about the business value of Continuous Delivery and see why it could be a game changer for...
- Ten Factors Shaping the Future of Application Delivery Download this research report conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) to learn how those that are seeking to accelerate application delivery are leveraging...
- Software Asset Management: Ensuring Today's Assets Today's trends like BYOD and SaaS are new and exciting in terms of how they will help make our jobs more productive but...
- Trends Shaping Software Management: 2014 Most IT executives recognize the relationship between mobile computing and worker productivity, and have long issued notebook computers and other mobile devices to...
- On-demand webinar - 7 Keys to Service Catalog Implementation Success Watch this webinar to learn 7 crucial keys to make your service catalog a success!
- Transform Your IT Service Management Watch this webinar, to learn how EasyVista can increase IT productivity & efficiency and deliver streamlined & integrated IT Service & Asset Mgmt. All Government/Industries White Papers | Webcasts