Range-saving breakthrough in heating to be test in Ford Focus Electric

Release Date: Available in initial markets, full rollout in 2013
MSRP: $39,995 US
Battery Pack Size: 23 kWh
Electric Range: 76 miles (EPA rated)
MPGe: 105 MPGe
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Researchers at MIT claim to have a breakthrough HVAC system that needs very little energy to run. This system will first be testing by Ford in the Focus Electric in the next year or two.

Funded by a $2.7 millioin grant from Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, the system uses materials to store a high volume of coolant in a small unit. The coolant travels through the system and can either be used to cool or heat the vehicles cabin.

Currently, the size of the unit is way to big to implement in a production vehicle. MIT researchers say it will be ready within 2 years for testing because they need to find an absorbent that absorbs more water, or a way to recharge the system – which currently takes 4 hours. Something described as a “metal organic framework, whose properties can be systematically changed by varying the composition of organic materials that link microscopic clusters of metal” would be their ideal substance.

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