1.9.2011 Ford announces plug-in hybrid concept
Ford has announced that they will unveil a new concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this month – the Ford Evos Concept will be a plug-in hybrid with a lithium-ion battery unit.
The Evos will be the ultimate expression of Ford's new global design language, and explores key future powertrain and vehicle interaction technologies.
Created as a bespoke concept vehicle, the Evos will be a four-seat, four-door hybrid that embraces a new generation of driver interaction and awareness currently under development by Ford. Seamless connectivity and interaction between the vehicle and the driver's so-called 'personal cloud' of information is fundamental to the overall design.
"Our goal is to focus on enriching a customer's every experience with their vehicle – by personalising it, adapting it, and creating unique, unexpected features that surprise and delight them," said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development. "In the Ford Evos Concept, this objective is explored and extended to the area of connectivity, where the intent is not to convert the vehicle into a smartphone, but rather to provide personalised and safe connection to the outside world in an enriching manner designed totally for the vehicle context."
With information from the cloud, the vehicle can provide the same connected lifestyle the driver experiences at home or in the office. The car knows the driver, and automatically adapts handling, steering and engine controls to deliver a personal and dynamic driving experience.
Drawing from a detailed understanding of the driver's preferences and driving habits, the Evos combines this personal information with additional data from the cloud, such as the driver's work schedule and local traffic or weather conditions. This information provides a personalised and seamless experience as the driver transitions in and out of the car.
It could automatically play the same music or news program that was just streaming at home, or heat or cool the interior to an ideal temperature before the driver gets in. Wirelessly communicating with devices in the home, it could close the garage door and switch off the lights automatically as it pulls away.
"This cloud-connected vision shows the enormous potential of tailoring the driving experience to suit the exact personal tastes and moods of the driver," said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president of Ford Research and Innovation.
Completing the vision for the Ford Evos Concept is a state-of-the-art lithium-ion plug-in hybrid powertrain providing next-generation performance and fuel economy. Ford 'powersplit' hybrid architecture allows the electric motor and petrol engine to work together or separately to maximise efficiency. The advanced powertrain typically runs in all-electric mode before switching to charge-sustaining hybrid mode for continued optimal fuel efficiency.
Cloud connectivity could further enhance performance and efficiency by selecting an optimum combination of powertrain modes for any journey. The cloud-optimised powertrain would automatically 'know' when to save energy and switch modes, using information about the vehicle's predicted travel route, any emission zone restrictions and current weather conditions.
The powertrain to be used in the Evos would offer an overall driving range of more than 500 miles using the battery and engine – more than any other plug-in or extended-range electric vehicle.
"With its leading-edge 'cloud-optimised' Plug-in hybrid electric powertrain offering outstanding efficiency and range with supreme driving enjoyment, the Ford Evos Concept highlights our vision for greener, smarter vehicles with outstanding customer appeal," concluded Kuzak.
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