Ford adds rapid charging to next Focus Electric
It comes as the manufacturer confirms an additional $4.5bn (£3bn) investment in electrified drivetrains over the next five years, planning for 40% of its global nameplates to include the technology by the end of the decade.
The next Focus Electric, which will be sold in Europe and North America, will begin production late in 2016. It replaces a vehicle which sold slowly in the UK, but adds DC rapid charging with the ability to regain 80% of its 100-mile range within half an hour – the old car could only charge at slower rates, which limited its usability.
Ford said this will also include new gauges showing energy usage and coaching on smoother brake usage to maximise energy regeneration. Steering and suspension has been retuned for a more engaging driving experience.
Further ahead, the carmaker will add to its research and development facilities in Europe and Asia, following 120 new employees joining its Electrified Powertrain Engineering programme in Michigan this year. It’s hoped that this will develop lighter, more durable batteries.
Kevin Layden, director of Ford Electrification Programs, said: “Battery technology has evolved rapidly since we launched our first volume electrified product, the Ford Escape Hybrid, in 2004, and we look forward to developing even better vehicle battery technology for our customers.”For more of the latest industry news, click here.