Rapid Charging - Ford Focus Electric Forum
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
Lee
 
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Default Rapid Charging

Can the Ford Focus electric be rapid charged in 30 minutes, what has been called level 3 charging? This is available on the LEAF SL model. Although I am on the list to purchase a LEAF SL, I would rather buy a Focus (American, trusted name, great interface). However, I think lack of level 3 charging will put the Focus at a significant range and resale disadvantage.
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Rapid Charging

Im with you.

Id like an America car, tired of Japanese ones. Much rather a Ford than a Nissan.

The Focus Electric will charge regularly at half the time as the LEAF ( 4 vs 8 hours). There's no fast charge option that I'm aware of for the Ford, but that kind of thing wont be very real-world practical either IMO.

Leafs are shipping now without fast chargers in US.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Rapid Charging

The charging speeds are an issue of difference. However, I actually think the Focus Electric has the advantage here, just follow me here...

With a Level 2 charger (240 Volts), like most people will install in their garage when they get one of these vehicles, the Focus Electric will charge up in about 1/2 the time of the Leaf because the Focus will charge at about twice the amps. Here's the key, this will work like this with any Level 2 charger installed properly (whether in your garage, the Ford dealership, the Nissan dealership or some Level 2 charger in public). The car's control the charge rate, not the charger.

This also means if you are out and have a long lunch (1hour and a half) you can fill your Focus Electric almost 1/2 up. With the Leaf you're looking at 3 hours to do that with the same Level 2 charger.

I'm guessing that we won't see many Level 3 chargers for a long time. The Level 3 chargers that the Leaf can quick charge with are extremely expensive (they use 440 Volts DC if my memory is correct - which translates into special power installation backing it, i.e. large installation costs) and at this point only the Leaf has the Level 3 port. So what business is going to be buying those instead of just getting Level 2 chargers that are much cheaper and will work with everything (Volt, Leaf, Focus etc.)? Nissan dealerships don't have Level 3 chargers.

The other downside with the Level 3 chargers is that Nissan has said it negatively impacts the battery life of your Leaf each time you use one.

I actually have a reservation on a Leaf and if I get one I'd definitely get the Level 3 quick charge port (for emergencies), but I wouldn't plan on being able to use it much since the chargers don't exist, will probably few and far between when they do exist (because they'll be so bloody expensive) and negatively impact the battery life of the Leaf when you do use it.

In my view the Level 2 charge rate that the Focus Electric offers is a significant advantage over the Leaf because you can use that faster charge rate at any Level 2 charger and those are going to be the chargers that are available everywhere (because they will work with everything and they are much cheaper to buy / install). And you'll use that all the time, including out in public if you get beyond your range window somehow.

Advantage Focus Electric in my view.

Just my $0.02.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Rapid Charging

Good points on the charging rate. I really hope that they
reclaim some of the interior space from the battery in
the final version. I buy a hatch so that I can haul larger
items..... not with the current Focus setup.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Rapid Charging

I agree with the space comment as well. Ford has the inverter sitting back there and taking up a big chunk of the trunk - Nissan has their inverter sitting under the hood, underneath what looks like a valve cover (but of course is not a valve cover).

Unfortunately, I doubt we'll be seeing any reduction of that "hump" until the next redesign - just a guess, but this is probably pretty close to what is going to be rolling into show rooms at the end of the year from Ford (less than a year from production, its just small tweaks at this point from what I understand). This is probably the Focus EV's biggest issue.

Endgadget has a few photos they took of the trunk - the best I've seen so far - that lay out the space issues clearly. It looks like more space than I could tell from the other photos I'd seen online. Maybe a foot and a half of unrestricted trunk floor before the start of the hump - should cover most grocery runs.

http://www.engadget.com/photos/ford-foc ... k/#3769767
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Rapid Charging

Here's a view of the trunk from the other side:

http://www.autoblog.com/photos/2012-for ... c/#3742505
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rapid Charging

Sasparilla is right on the money about the charging. That fast DC charging uses 3 phase AC for input. 3 phase input is typically only available at certain industrial/commercial sites. If you live in a top 10 city by population maybe in the next 5 years you would see one, but even then it would be hit or miss whether the exact location is convenient to your daily commute patterns.

Also of issue. That option is not something you can use everyday or even regularly. Nissan states in its literature that regular use of the DC fast charge option invalidates the warranty on the battery.

While the DC fast charge option sounds like the EV holy grail, it is more like a mirage in the desert. Ford's decision to up the ante on 240v charging was definitely smart. A fact which Nissan has acknowledged by announcing that future versions of the Leaf will have 30 amp charging instead of the current 15amp.
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