Batteries that power an electric vehicle or a hybrid work best when they are cool. Keeping the batteries cool can be a big challenge in some parts of the country during the summer. Ford is getting its new Focus Electric ready to hit the market and since the vehicle will be sold all around the country Ford is working to keep the battery cool in the hotter climates.
Ford has announced that the Focus Electric will use an advanced liquid cooling system for its lithium-ion battery packs to provide an advantage over models without a cooling system. When the battery is being charged or used the Ford system will use an integrated chiller to lower the temperature of the hot coolant going through the battery as needed.
In the winter, months if the coolant is at a good temperature presumably the chiller wouldn't activate. The system uses the vehicles AC system to cool the fluid as it flows around the battery. The cooling system will work when the car is charging as well even though it's not on. "Batteries can heat up when they're charging or being used, and it's made worse by ambient temperatures," said Dave Fabricatore, Thermal Program Management team engineer. "Controlling the temperature lets us deliver the best range and power for the customer, while improving the longevity of the battery." The Focus Electric will launch late this year.