Ford plans to launch an all-electric compact car by 2011Enlarge Photo
One of the biggest things holding back the mass embrace of the electric car is their supposedly short driving range compared to conventionally powered cars, as well as their relatively expensive nature considering the youth of the technology and low production volumes.
To combat this, Ford claims that it’s already in the process of speeding up the development of the current industry preferred battery, the lithium-ion cell. According to the carmaker, it’s co-operating with both industry battery suppliers and university research teams to help develop a next-generation battery system that could be implemented in Blue Oval vehicles as early as next year.
At the moment, Ford's batteries come in nickel-metal hydride form, but by next year it hopes to release the new lithium-ion system that will be around 5% more efficient than the batteries that Ford is currently using, as well as being almost one-third cheaper to manufacture - which could result in big savings for consumers in the near future.
Ford's vice-president in charge of sustainability and the environment, Susan Cischke, explained to the The Detroit News
that "significant research" has already been completed, which will help Ford to "accelerate its electric vehicle strategy". Ford is so faithful in the project that it’s also expecting that the research findings will help make it one of the first carmakers to be selling an all-electric vehicle
in high volumes.