21st Century : Cars : Ford E-Ka
The E-Ka is a prototype electric Ka, 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.
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.
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 sealed.
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.
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.
3-phase asynchronous engine
The Ford Website