Ford is leveraging the Internet and wireless technology to accelerate testing and refinement of the advanced lithium-ion battery systems that will power its upcoming plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.
Ford’s rapid progress is enabled by two monitoring methods that allow engineers to collect real-time performance data from batteries in the lab and on vehicles in the field via a secure Internet server, and wirelessly update system software to improve capability and durability.
These proprietary methods have significantly reduced test-fleet downtime and allowed Ford to more than double its battery lab-testing capability.
“Remote monitoring allows us to access real-time data and make continuous improvements very quickly,” said Sherif Marakby, Ford director, Electrification Program and Engineering. “This degree of efficiency would have been unthinkable a few years ago and will help Ford bring more fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles to market more quickly than ever before.”
Ford will launch two zero-emission all-electric vehicles – the Transit Connect Electric light commercial van in North America in late 2010 and in Europe in 2011, followed by the Focus Electric passenger car in North America in 2011 and Europe in 2012.
Two next-generation hybrid electric vehicles and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle follow in North America in 2012 and Europe in 2013.