Microsoft word - e-ka with hylite panels.doc
Ford goes further with prototype electric Ka
Contact: Jennifer Flake +49 221 901 8871
COLOGNE, 28. April, 2000 - Ford Motor Company today announced the development of a
prototype electric Ka small car, powered by a new generation of lithium ion high-tech batteries.
Ford is the first manufacturer to produce an electric vehicle using this type of battery propulsion.
The e-Ka has the performance of a petrol engine car and a range of 150 kilometers thanks to
second-generation lithium ion batteries, and retains the zero emissions benefits of electric
vehicles while extending considerably their conventional limits.
The e-Ka has been developed at Ford’s Research Center in Aachen (FFA) to demonstrate the
capabilities of new "dedicated soft lithium ion" water-cooled battery technology.
Appropriately based on Ford’s Ka, which is renowned for its futuristic exterior and interior
design, the e-Ka’s body has been lightened by 45 kilograms to optimise the performance of its
electric powertrain. The lithium ion battery pack (total weight 280 kg) is approximately 70
percent lighter than an equivalent pack using conventional lead acid technology.
The result is that the e-Ka can sprint to 100 km/h in 12.7 seconds (0-50 km/h in 3.9 seconds) and
can reach a maximum speed of 130 km/h. If a constant speed of 80 km/h could be maintained,
the e-Ka would travel more than 200 kilometers before needing a recharge.
A particular advantage of lithium ion battery technology is its tolerance to high electric current
when recharging. The e-Ka can go from zero to full charge in just six hours and, unlike other
battery systems, it is immune to the so-called "memory effect" and retains its full charging
capacity regardless of usage. The on-board recharger ensures that - after a complete discharge -
the battery will be fully operational again after six hours.Powering the e-Ka
The Ford e-Ka battery pack consists of a total of 180 cells. These are divided into three separate
battery ’troughs’. One trough is located in the engine compartment and two others directly behind
and one in front of the rear axle. The entire bundle of lithium ion batteries weighs only 280
kilograms, which is 70 percent less than normal lead-acid batteries.
The battery troughs are divided into modules each containing six lithium ion cells. An on board
Battery Management System (BMS) constantly monitors each of the 30 modules, both during
operation and while it is being recharged. Cell voltage, battery charge status, and the operating
temperature of the battery module are all monitored and this data is passed to the central control
unit, the Vehicle System Controller (VSC), through the on board communications network (CAN
data bus).Safety and Comfort
The flow of electricity from the battery unit is automatically cut off if the system is turned off, or
in the event of an accident. The e-Ka is equipped with crash sensors, which trigger the shut
down. The e-Ka also has two independent coolant systems that prevent overheating. One is for
the drive system (consisting of electric engine, transmission, and differential), and the other is
dedicated to the Lithium ion battery pack. The three battery troughs in the system are completely
The e-Ka retains all of the dynamic abilities for which the Ka itself is so well regarded. To
achieve this with the heavier e-Ka, Ford engineers have equipped the vehicle with Electric Power
Assisted Steering (EPAS). EPAS is equipped with sensors that are able to register the torque, as
well as the current position of the steering wheel. This data is continually conveyed to an
electronic module, which controls the precise amount of electrically powered assistance required.
The advantages of the EPAS system, compared to conventional power steering (hydraulic)
systems, include compact construction, reduced weight, and environmental benefits. The e-Ka is
also equipped with an electric brake booster and ABS.Vehicle Management System
A vehicle management system (VSC - Vehicle System Controller) has been developed especially
for the e-Ka to ensure optimum operation of the battery charger, the battery itself, and the
electric motor. The end result is that despite its state-of-the-art technology the e-Ka can be driven
in the sameWeight Reduction with Aluminum
Selective use of aluminum and aluminum composites has taken weight out of the
e-Ka without compromising strength or refinement. A composite material called Hylite,¤
consisting of two aluminum sheets sandwiching a layer of thermoplastic (polypropylene), is used
for the roof (weight reduction: 5.5 kg) and the hood (-5.3 kg). Overall weight reduction is 45
kilograms. Hylite is up to 65 percent lighter than aluminium or steel of comparable stiffness.
Weight was also reduced through the use of aluminium for the rear axle (-12 kg), wheel rims (-
12 kg), and brakes (-10 kg). The e-Ka is also equipped with low rolling resistance tyres to
maximise the vehicle’s range.
Ford e-Ka specifications
: Ford KaWeight
Weight: 1,134 kgDriving Performance
Maximum speed: 130 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 12.7 seconds
Acceleration (0-50 km/h): 3.9 secondsRange
Measured according to NEFZ: exceeds 150 Kilometer
At a constant speed of 80 km/h: exceeds 200 KilometerBattery Specifications
Type: lithium ion (LiIon)
180 cells (30 modules)
Output: 28 kW/h
Weight: 280 kgEngine
Type: 3-phase asynchronous engine
Max. Torque: 190 Nm
Max. Output: 65 kW / 88 hpComfort/Safety
Electrically/electronically-controlled power steering
Electric interior heater (3/6 kW)
On board battery charger system for 110V/220V/400V with max. 6.8 kW (6-8h charging time)Lightweight Features
Roof and hood made from Hylite¤
Rear axle made of aluminium; aluminium brakesWheel rims made of aluminiumTyres with low rolling resistance
Lithium Ion Battery Technology
Until now, lithium ion batteries have most commonly been used in the consumer field. Withinthe framework of a state funded project (by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research),LiIon battery technology was developed for vehicle applications.
The LiIon battery in the Ford e-Ka, in comparison to other battery technologies, has a very highpower density (126 Watt hours per kilogram) and a high-energy capacity for its volume (197Watt hours per liter). In practice, this allows for more energy charging capacity without anincrease in volume or weight. Furthermore, the output of the e-Ka’s LiIon battery is exceptionalin comparison to conventional battery technologies (262 Watts per kilogram and 410 Watts perliter). Other advantages of the Ford e-Ka’s LiIon battery are longevity, cycle consistency, andtemperature stability.
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