Tag Archives: Battery

Battery powered railcars

The city of Detroit is currently building a small street-car rail system going along Woodward ave from downtown to the new center area (3.3 miles in all–the original plan was for it to go much further). The system is called M-1 rail.
M1 Rail construction map

Wait? a rail system? in your EV blog? Yes a battery rail system.

There are sections of the track where they will be unable to put the overhead wires and in those instances the rail cars will be running on battery only.

Instead of a Woodward Avenue wrapped with electric lines, 60% of the route will be “off wire,” meaning most of it will run on battery power versus electricity.

I find this kind of ironic: The cities new rail system will be an EV and yet most of the automaker’s here would rather that EVs go away. Not to mention the fact that when the cars are running on battery they still are running off of electricity–just internal stored electricity.

Bad battery and clear roads…

Another “winter” post with a twist: With the bad weather again returning–mostly subzero temperatures–I put the FFE in the garage and drove the truck for a day. Leaving the truck outside to keep the FFE “toasty warm” in the garage (at freezing!) I retired for the night. In the morning, with the EV all warmed, loaded up and ready to go I hopped into the truck to move it…click..!? Try again…click…nothing. Fortunately I do have a set of jumper cables (hey it is a pickup–no pickup should be caught anywhere without jumper cables–but I digress) a quick jump from our other ICE Focus and it was up and running. Guess I’ll be getting a new battery for the truck; LOL.

With the FFE all warmed up and ready to go the commute in was relatively easy and only consumed 4.1 kWh or 26% of the battery. Just a few days ago the commute was consuming 31% of the battery at the same outside temperature (~13F). The only difference is that today the roads were completely clear and dry and the prior days the roads had a good 3″ of slush and snow on them. Thus slogging through the snowy roads causes the car to consume about an extra 800 Wh or so vs driving on clear roads.

I didn’t even consider that driving on a snow covered road would consume almost a full 1kWh of power over my commute…interesting.

Misc thoughts and ramblings

So here are a few miscellaneous random thoughts:

  • I’m kind of surprised at the extent Nissan Leaf owners go to monitor their batteries. Is this due to the lack of a TMS? I know you want to eek out every last little mile out of the battery but really: extra power monitors, etc.? Granted I’m sure there are FFE owners doing the same thing. To me that all just sounds like so much more work! LOL You can get % charge remaining on the FFE (an approximation on the dash via the green bar on the battery and an actual value on one of the MFT display screens)–this has been sufficient for myself…?
  • Speed: I had a post about 0-60 times for the various models of Focuses. That isn’t where the FFE really shines though as far as acceleration (which is probably also true for all the EVs on the market today). It really doesn’t matter how fast the motor is going you will still have almost maximum torque available instantly. This makes small short accelerations seem much faster than what you get starting from a stop. Passing cars on the freeway is just a toe dip away in the accelerator. Perhaps I’ll figure out a safe way to record some times (10-30, 30-60, etc.) and post them (most likely by mounting a video camera at the dash). Should be interesting..


Slow boat from

My coworker was able to find out that his headliner needed to be replaced because it was cut when some workers were crawling around in his back seat. The workers were crawling around in the back seat because the back seats needed to be replaced. The back seats needed to be replaced because the batteries needed to be replaced. The batteries needed to be replaced because they would not charge. He had to wait the extra time because they had to ship a new set of batteries (The FFE has two battery “packs”–one where the gas tank is on an ICE Focus and one in the hatchback area) from Korea where they are assembled.
This meant that my coworker had a pretty big decision to make: Should he take the car or not knowing that it has been ripped apart and re-assembled. How would it stand the test of time? Would he get a lemon? Would the car stop dead on the road? After much deliberation he decided to take delivery. After all it is a lease and will go back to Ford in 3 years anyway.
So after almost 6 contentions months he took delivery of his Blue Candy Ford Focus Electric. As of today neither of us have had any serious issues with the cars (mine with over 3000 miles on it, and his with over 2000 miles on it). Now our conversations involve our experiences driving an electric car and getting a Level 2 EVSE installed.

Two FFE's

Two FFE’s