March 13, 2010
Ford Transit Connect Electric Battery Longevity

Looking thru a press release from Ford about the electric version of their Transit Connect delivery vehicle (going into production late 2010) a couple of interesting things stand out: 80 mile range and aimed at commercial fleets where each vehicle always returns to a central place to make recharge easy.

Transit Connect Electric is well-suited for commercial fleets that travel predictable, short-range routes with frequent stop-and-go driving in urban and suburban environments and a central location for daily recharging. The vehicle, which will accelerate at a similar rate as the gas-powered Transit Connect and will have a top speed of 75 mph, has a targeted range of up to 80 miles on a full charge.

Owners will have the option of recharging the Transit Connect Electric with either a standard 120V outlet or preferably a 240V charge station installed at the user’s base of operations for optimal recharging in six to eight hours. A transportable cord that works with both types of outlets will be available for recharging at both kinds of locations.

The vehicle’s charge port is located above the passenger-side rear wheel well. The onboard liquid-cooled 28-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack is charged by connecting the charge port to a power outlet. Inside the vehicle, an onboard charger converts the AC power from the electric grid to DC power to charge the battery pack.

What's most interesting: the battery is expected to last as long as the vehicle. How long is that expected to be in terms of miles driven?

In the Transit Connect Electric, the battery pack has been efficiently integrated without compromising interior passenger room and cargo space. The battery pack is expected to last the life of the vehicle.

Does this battery pack have a longer expected life than, say, the Chevy Volt's battery pack or the Nissan Leaf's battery pack? If so, is that due to a longer lasting battery technology?

The Transit Connect Electric will use a lithium polymer battery from Kokam that in April 2009 could do 1500 discharges to 100% discharge.< At 80 miles per full charge that would be only 120,000 miles (assuming it retains the 80 range for all those discharges). Does the battery last longer if not fully discharged?/p>

The 28 kwh was also costing $750 per kwh in April 2009 or $21,000 just for the batteries. So what's this van going to sell for? Ford still hasn't announced pricing.

Future battery manufacturing costs will determine how high gasoline prices will go before a massive shift away from oil to electric power for cars.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 March 13 09:41 PM  Energy Electric Cars

Mirco said at March 14, 2010 3:51 AM:

A battery last much longer if not fully discharged. Usually you prefer to work a battery in a 20-80% charge.

PacRim Jim said at March 14, 2010 11:54 AM:

During the stop-and-go driving, the energy generated when stopping could be converted to recharge the battery a little.

Engineer-Poet said at March 14, 2010 9:30 PM:

Regenerative braking affects the kWh/mi usage, but how that influences the %discharge/cycle depends on the user.

Unless the battery-pack options include several capacities, there is no way to fix the daily discharge level at or near the optimum and get the best cost/mile.  The interaction between product offerings and end-user behavior is non-trivial.

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