Panasonic Selected to Electrify Ford Fusion Energi, C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrids

By · February 29, 2012

Ford and Panasonic

Panasonic's battery deal with Ford builds on a long-term partnership between the two firms, which dates all the way back to 2004.

Panasonic announced last week that it signed a deal with Ford Motor Company to provide prismatic lithium-ion battery cells for its vehicles. Terms of the deal call for Panasonic to supply battery cells for hybrid version of the Ford Fusion and C-Max, and for the Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids. Ford will assemble the lithium-ion packs in-house.

According to Ford, the switch from nickel metal hydride to lithium-ion technology will improve the automaker's electrified vehicles. Ford's chief electrification engineer, Chuck Gray, claims the in-house lithium-ion pack delivers "peak charge and discharge power of 35 kW, compared to 25 kW and 27 kW, respectively, in the older Fusion hybrid NiMH pack." In addition, the lithium-ion units are lighter and boost specific power to 0.84 kW/kg, compared to 0.412 kW/kg in the outgoing NiMH pack.

Moreover, Panasonic's battery deal with Ford builds on a long-term partnership between the two firms, which dates back to 2004. Sanyo Electric, which was acquired by Panasonic in 2011, has supplied nickel-based battery systems for the Ford Escape Hybrid since 2004.

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