We were whining about the LEAF weight until practically the first delivery. Now all that's quiet and we want to pick on Ford for another 2-3 passenger equivalent?
Well, the way I see it is this: weight is the linear enemy of both speed and hills and the quadratic enemy of acceleration, but in no way effects our worst enemy, the dreaded cubic drag. But what really matters is range. Now Nissan said they could do 100 mi under EPA LA04 (whatever it is called now) and in the end, they beat it in some road tests. But the EPA shot back with a 20% penalty for adverse weather with a final answer of 73 mi.
Now Ford is saying they can get 100 mi on a 4% smaller battery and a 300 lb-mass heavier car. One way this could be the case is if the new Focus is massively better engineered for aerodynamics than the LEAF and this would be in a car maker's interest regardless of EV or ICEV as both pay the for the cost of drag and eking out a fraction of a coefficient of drag can pay big dividends, especially at speed. There are of course other ways Ford may have an improved design, specifically with a better inverter or more efficient electric motor, though I don't know how this could be done personally; Damn it, Jim, IANAEE.
My point is simply this: wait for the EPA LA04 numbers, and the official EPA number before you judge the weight. In fact, a heavier car that could get the same mileage as the LEAF has one advantage in that additional passengers or cargo have less of a relative effect because they would make up a smaller percentage of the weight of the car.
But[/b], all that said, the real question will come from mounting hills, because that's one aspect of automotive efficiency that's not well represented in the EPA tests and so although the Rolling Resistance and Acceleration will take equal hits for weight and compensated for in design, it's an uphill battle to go uphill.
RIP CO2 Fre
, 27 months, 42,282 mi & 11 bars.
unAmerican Job & Nissan's Rapid Depreciation cost $20,000!
on the road daily w/o Charge at Work
Long Live CO2 Fre
, Maxed 2013 SL, 20,000 mi/yr lease.
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