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Ford: Liquid Cooling/Heating Is Key to Electric Vehicle Battery Thermal Management

Nissan Leaf will use passive air cooling, but other automakers apparently think that strategy won’t work.

by on Sep.02, 2010

Ford says its 2011 Focus Electric will use liquid for optimum thermal management of the battery.

Yet another automaker, this time Ford, has announced that it will use liquid heating/cooling to maintain optimum battery temperatures to maximize battery performance and longevity, leaving Nissan even further outside the battery technology mainstream.

Ford said that its 2011 Ford Focus Electric would use a sophisticated liquid system to keep the lithium-ion battery at optimal operating temperatures. Both the Chevrolet Volt and Tesla Motors use liquid to regulate battery temperature.

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Nissan is sticking to its plan to use passive air cooling to maintain optimum battery temperature, although cooling technology is downplayed on Nissan’s media Web site. While cheaper than liquid cooling, some critics, most notably Tesla Chairman Elon Musk, have called Nissan’s battery cooling system “primitive.”
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