I thought readers may be interested in the response I got from two dedicated EV buffs (both partners of mine at EVWorld Associates) when I asked them why they favored the electric version of the Ford Focus (to be released later this year) over the Nissan LEAF.
Mike Brace wrote:
All of the driver’s review that I have read have all had nothing but good things to say about it. Fit, trim, finish, electronics, all better than the Nissan. More importantly, the Focus is using water temperature-controlled batteries. That way they stay warm [while plugged in for charge] on cold days, cold on hot days and it serves a more effective means of temperature control that air-cooled batteries so it gets better range, especially on cold days. From what I have read it has a better BMS because of it. That system also offers a way to heat the cabin and draw less current doing so. I also like the regen-braking algorithm it uses to coach better driving techniques. I favor it for two more reasons (strictly my own preferences) a) I prefer the styling compared to the Nissan, and b) I have always been a Ford man.
I don’t think they gave it the hype that Chevy gave the Volt. As a matter of fact I have been surprised how they have managed to keep it off the TV and out of the press. But according to the industry it will be on the road by the end of the year.
….and Doug Nelson followed on:
I have a bit of knowledge about the EV powertrain in the Focus also. Magna E-Car systems and Magna Powertrain are sponsors of EcoCAR (and now also EcoCAR 2), and are the supplier of the motor/inverter system and transmission used in the Focus EV. They recently had the components on display at both our spring workshop at EPA and then SAE Congress. They may supply some of the drive systems to teams for EcoCAR 2 – if they can get by the IP issues.
I have talked with them about the systems, and they seem to be very good and capable. They also seem to know what they are doing – which is why Ford selected them. I want one too!!!