Ford Motors has proven its commitment to electric vehicles with its latest offering, the Focus Electric. Autocar UK reports that the debut of Ford’s flagship alternative-fuel car and primary competition for the Nissan Leaf excited the audience at what sources claim has been a lackluster Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. The Focus Electric will make its motor show debut in Detroit next week.
The Focus Electric isn’t a new platform
According to Autocar UK, Ford is taking a different route with the Focus Electric than Nissan and Renault have taken with electric vehicles. Specifically, whereas Nissan and Renault developed entirely new platforms for EVs, Ford has followed Volkswagen’s lead (with the electric Golf) and based its Ford Electric on the standard Focus platform. This has decreased development costs and enabled Ford’s marketing department to stick with trusted model names consumers already know.
Under the hood with lithium ion
The Ford Focus Electric’s motor hums thanks to a 28kWh lithium ion battery that helps the car achieve a maximum speed of 84 mph. With a full three- to four-hour charge from a 240V outlet – which Ford points out is half the charge time recommended for the Nissan Leaf – the Focus Electric is projected to have a 100 mile travel range.
According to Ford representatives, the Focus Electric’s steering, handling and braking operate and feel nearly the same as those of the non-EV Focus. If anything, aerodynamics have been improved and cabin noise has been minimized due to the quiet electronic power train.
Advanced software for total driving pleasure
As with all new upscale Ford models, the Focus Electric will sport the MyFord Touch software package, which will include not only cloud-based entertainment features and navigation, but tips on obtaining maximum life from the electric vehicle. If the Focus Electric owner has a mobile device synced via Bluetooth to MyFord Touch, then the owner can control car functions remotely and even receive alerts when the EV needs charging or has completed its charging cycle.
The Ford Focus Electric will be launched in the U.S. later this year.
FOX coverage of the Focus Electric at CES