Dearborn, Michigan – Ford is using the Internet and wireless technology to speed testing and refinement of its lithium-ion battery systems that will power its upcoming plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.

The company uses two monitoring methods that allow engineers to collect real-time performance data from batteries in the lab and in vehicles in the field via a secure Internet server, and wirelessly update system software to improve capability and durability. The proprietary methods have significantly reduced downtime in the test fleet and allowed Ford to more than double its battery lab testing capability.

“Remote monitoring allows us to access real-time data and make continuous improvements very quickly,” said Sherif Marakby, director of electrification program and engineering. “This degree of efficiency would have been unthinkable a few years ago and will help Ford bring more fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles to market more quickly than ever before.”

Ford’s battery researchers are focusing on lithium-ion technology’s ability to recharge under a range of conditioning, including state of charge, battery age and environmental temperatures.

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