2013 Ford Focus Electric Review

When an automaker makes the decision to enter the electric car market it has two choices: Spend hundreds of millions designing, developing and tooling the plants to build an all-new car, like Nissan did with the Leaf or, reduce the risk and cost by replacing the drivetrain of an existing gas-powered vehicle with an electric one. This latter choice was the one Ford went with for its newly launched Focus Electric.

Like Mitsubishi did with its i-MiEV, Ford dipped its toes in the EV waters opted to transform an existing car into an e-car and chose the Focus hatchback compact car for its first pure electric car. This means the Electric is built on the same assembly line as the gasoline Focus in Wayne, Michigan. This offers Ford the option of increasing or decreasing EV production depending on demand.

In the past Ford has said it wants its hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric cars to be more than a niche, and that it’s about affordable transportation for the masses. With the Focus Electric, the automaker is at least on the “verge” of being affordable. The 2013 Focus Electric is priced at $39,200 – about $9,000 over the present average American new car price – and before the $7,500 federal or state tax incentives are potentially deducted.

However, a part of affordability has to do with fuel economy, and this is where the Focus Electric really shines given it does not even burn “fuel” in the traditional sense, but uses an efficient electric powertrain. To help consumers compare fuel efficiency between gasoline or diesel cars and electric cars, the EPA has developed a formula called miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe). Focus Electric has an MPGe rating of 110 City/99 Highway and 105 Combined.

Ford introduced the electric version of the new Focus first in California, New York and New Jersey – before expanding distribution to 19 additional markets. Those 19 markets include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh Durham, Richmond, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tucson and Washington, D.C. The rest of the U.S. will have to wait a while.

Powertrain Details

To convert the gas-powered Focus to an EV, the aforementioned electric motor replaces a gasoline engine and an L-shaped battery pack is placed under the rear seat and between the rear wheels. Directing power from the electric motor to the front wheels is a simple, direct drive single-speed transmission that takes the place of the standard transmission.

The water-cooled alternating current, 107-kilowatt synchronous permanent magnetic motor generates 143 horsepower and a generous 184 pounds-feet of torque at 0 rpm – yes, “0 rpm” is theoretical given no work is actually taking place, and some editors balk at this, and write in “1 rpm,” but you get the point. The energy is 100-percent from the get-go.

2013 Ford Focus Electric

And from said get-go, the Focus Electric’s estimated 0 to 60 mph takes the Focus EV around 9.5 seconds, and its top speed is a modest 84 mph.

Feeding the motor is a 23-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack with more than 17 kWh available in the charge-discharge cycle. The battery pack employs an actively liquid cooled and heated system that allows stable battery operation by maintaining an optimal range of temperature.

While driving, regenerative braking recovers more than 95 percent of the energy normally lost and stores it in the battery. Every time the car coasts or brakes are applied, the electric motor acts as an electric generator and coverts the energy to electricity.

Getting Charged Up

Ford pulled off a one-upsmanship on the Nissan Leaf by equipping the Focus with a 6.6-kW on-board charger. It adds about 20 miles of driving range for every hour of charging, instead of 10 miles for each hour supplied by the Leaf’s 3.3-kW charger. Filling the battery with electrons when empty takes about four hours using Ford’s 240-volt Level 2 home recharging unit versus the Leaf’s seven to 10 hours. However, charge time of around 20 hours using a standard 120-volt plug receptacle is essentially the same as the Leaf’s.

Ford developed with Leviton its home charging station, and priced it at $1,495, including normal installation (normal meaning a home already properly wired for its voltage and amperage). And, unlike other units, the charging station can simply be unplugged if you relocate – electrician not required to remove it.

For hardcore, and sufficiently well-healed, greenies, Ford has teamed up with solar system maker SunPower. A 2.5-kilowatt rooftop solar panel system will provide Focus Electric owners enough renewable energy production to offset the energy used for charging. The solar panels produce an average of 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough output to accommodate a customer who drives 12,000 miles a year. Assuming “normal’ installation, the installed cost is $10,000 after federal tax credits.

Styling

An all-new Ford Focus was introduced in late 201l as a 2012 model. Designed by Ford’s European arm, it follows the company’s “kinetic” styling themes, which the automaker calls an “energy in motion” look. It’s an edgy, adventurous exterior characterized by a disport ensemble of swoops and wedges.

2013 Ford Focus Electric

Like the standard Focus hatchback, the Electric has an athletic profile that features a raked roofline. Tires mounted on 17-inch aluminum wheels fill the wheel wells, giving the car an “it’s time to rock ’n roll” performance look. The big difference between the two is up front. Rather than the gas-powered Focus’s single bar grille and almost menacing looking gaping mouth flanked by bold triangle intakes, the Electric has a more stately, Aston Martin-like design with narrow horizontal crossbars. On either side of the new grille, HID headlamps sweep gracefully up and into muscular front fenders. The tail end of the Focus is quite distinctive with a large rear spoiler and giant taillamps that wrap around the corners.

In The Tech-Rich Cabin

Interior quality is a giant leap from the previous generation Focus. Material quality is arguably the best in the small car class, heavy on soft touch surfaces with an astute mix of stout plastic panels. All are nicely grained or show a stylish matte finish, and the switchgear features a no-slip shape or coating. The cabin has a spacious feeling, though backseat legroom is tight.

2013 Ford Focus Electric

The Electric’s dashboard mimics the standard Focus and is designed for those comfortable using all manner of mobile infotainment devices – potentially a turn-off for some buyers. The four-spoke steering wheel is the same, including a pair of buttons on two spokes along with cruise control operation and Ford’s SYNC, the integrated communications and entertainment system.

The instrument cluster has a centrally mounted speedometer with a pair of color displays on either side. The right screen displays climate, entertainment and navigation as well as a driving efficiency graphic of blue butterflies. The left screen delivers relevant EV information such as available range and battery state of charge.

2013 Ford Focus Electric

Mounted in the center console is an eight-inch screen that features MyFord Touch infotainment system. It fetches up audio, navigation, phone and climate controls that some reviewers rave about while others say that at best, the almost knob-less and button-less interface is confusing and frustrating to operate.

What’s not confusing to operate is the gear shifter. Rather than some weird gear selections, the Focus Electric has the standard PRNDL—park, reverse, neutral, drive and low—positions that everyone is familiar with.

But wait, there’s more technology. The standard MyFord Mobile app, available for iOS, Android, and Blackberry, helps EV drivers locate local charging stations, plan trips, view current battery status and manage remote charging. For the social-connected crowd, a gaming feature lets owners share accomplishments on Facebook and Twitter.

2013 Ford Focus Electric

Basically, the Focus Electric comes standard with the same trim level as the top-of-line Titanium edition of the gasoline Focus, meaning that it is thoroughly appointed. Standard features include: Intelligent Access with push-button start; power locks, windows and outside mirrors; dual-zone climate controls; heated front seats; leather-wrapped steering wheel; Sony nine-speaker audio system; satellite and HD radio; ambient lighting; and a rear camera with rear parking sensor. The only options are leather seats and two paint colors.

When it comes to safety, the Focus Electric has all the biggies: Anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control, dual front airbags, drive and front passenger side-protection airbags and curtain side airbags.

Driving The Focus Electric

When the 2012 Focus arrived, auto critics penned high praise about its ride, handling and braking characteristics. Since the Electric version has the same structure and independent front and rear suspension, it’s no surprise that many of these same reviewers give the EV high marks. Road and Track commented, “Apart from its EV quietness, the car’s road-going demeanor does little to set it apart from its gasoline-fueled counterpart.” And Automobile magazine remarked, “With the independent multilink rear suspension, no untoward body motions are observed. The ride is perfectly acceptable, thanks to recalibrations made necessary by the extra weight (of the batteries).”

A quiet ride is synonymous with the electric car driving experience as noted by the New York Times’ reviewer, “Battery-powered cars are intrinsically quiet, the motor sound falling between a whir and a whisper. But the Focus is deep-space silent, the quietest of the many electric cars I’ve driven.”

2013 Ford Focus Electric

Mark Vaughn, AutoWeek’s west coast editor and an i-MiEV owner, said, “The Focus Electric is the quietest EV we’ve driven yet. Ford spent time and energy adding sound insulation throughout the vehicle and damping down everything that might disturb its compact serenity. You won’t hear gears whining, clicks clacking or switches switching.” He added, “Stomp on the throttle, and it’s hard to feel any torque steer at all.”

The EV For You?

If you want a car that doesn’t run on liquid fuels, the Focus Electric has few competitors. That includes the funky styled Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which is smaller than the Focus, has a shorter driving range and longer charging time, and starts at $29,125. Arguably, the electric $39,145 Chevy Volt with gasoline-powered generator backup could be an alternate option, although not if you never want to burn gas. It is a shorter range EV – the government rates it at 38 miles all-electric range – and the gasoline engine kicks on when the usable electrons are depleted. If kept within electric range, it is competitively frugal to operate as other EVs.

Nissan’s 2012 Leaf is the actually closest comparable EV. The Leaf is less expensive than the Ford with the hard-to-find base SV model starting at $35,200, but the more popular SL model starts at $37,250, just $1,950 less than Focus Electric.

The Focus Electric and Leaf have close EPA ratings for both driving range and efficiency: The Leaf is rated at 73 miles of driving range, with a rating of 99 MPGe (miles-per-gallon equivalent), The Focus Electric is slightly better on both counts, with 76 miles of range and a 105 MPGe rating.

The Focus EV has a decided advantage when it comes to battery charge time. While both vehicles require around 20 hours to charge from a standard household 120-volt outlet, the Focus Electric needs just four hours charge from a 240-volt outlet versus the Leaf’s charge time with the same voltage. The Leaf does offer a DC quick-charging capability – not available on the Focus – that can recharge the battery pack to 80-percent capacity in around 30 minutes, but few such charging stations exist yet.

Where the Leaf differs also from the Ford is it was designed without an active liquid thermal management system – partially accounting for its lower cost. Nissan has said thermal management was deemed not necessary for the Leaf’s battery pack design.

2013 Ford Focus Electric

The Leaf has however experienced a minor controversy all year as to whether lack of liquid cooling in particular leads to heat-induced premature failure in a few of the states in which it was first launched beginning late 2010, and these also are among America’s hottest states. Nissan has denied any inherent design flaw and commissioned an independent panel to investigate further.

Further complicating the choice is a September report in which Nissan’s CEO was quoted as saying pending 2013 model year Leafs are being equipped with a larger battery with as-of-yet unreported capacity increase over its first-generation 24 kwh. This is expected to increase range – other reports put it at possibly 25 percent or so. Therefore, it’s a series of pros and cons comparing the 2012 Leaf, and even more so, the believed-pending 2013 Leaf, to Ford’s first-generation thermally managed 23-kwh Focus Electric.

Both the Focus Electric and Leaf will whiz by gas stations while producing zero emissions, and most owners of either car will recoup at least a few thousand dollars of the premium from lower fuel and maintenance costs.

So, which of the two battery electric cars are for you?

Another final decider between the Focus Electric and Leaf could be styling. For those that don’t want to show off their environmental leanings, the Focus EV is designed for the generic aisle of the dealership. Its styling is edgy, sporty, decidedly European and its green credentials are incognito. The Leaf, on the other hand, is a dedicated design with distinctive styling – no upfront grille, bulging headlights, wide rear end and odd proportions combined say, “I’m a green car.”

Tough choice, huh? But if you want to drive one of the sharpest-looking cars on the road while smiling to yourself because you have no personal connection to OPEC, the Focus Electric is the EV for you.

Prices are manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) at time of publication and do not include destination charges, taxes or licensing.


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2013 Ford Focus Electric Review
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  • Shines

    One American car company is not being complacent regarding EVs from China. If the price comes in below $25K I can see a lot of commuters (like me) taking advantage of the fuel cost savings.

  • FamilyGuy

    Nice idea, but it’s strictly a commuter’s car. My friend lives 65 miles away, so I can’t make it round trip without re-charging. I’d have to recharge at his house and it would be on his utility bill. At least the 6-12 hour recharge time gives us the chance to drink a lot of good beer.

    Is this sort of car really governed by miles or some combination of miles and time? What if you commute is 40 miles each way, 80 miles total, under the 100 mile limit. But you encounter terrible traffic and it takes you an extra hour to get home. Shut off the radio? Hope it doesn’t get dark and you don’t need the lights?

    Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to see this sort of car coming to the dealers. Too many EV’s have been top end race cars and nothing for the family guy. I hope that this is a good step towards another EV’s with greater range and quicker recharges.

  • Geo

    I doubt a car stereo system could drain a 23kwh battery if it was left on for a week . I guess this car would be aimed at someone like me, who lives about 6 miles from work and rarely goes out of town. I normally put less than a hundred miles on the car in week.

  • Going Ford Ward

    Wow, Ford keeps cranking out hits… First Escape hybrid, then fusion hybrid, now focus EV. Ford will have the most complete line up of alternative energy vehicles! Good job, keep the hits coming.

  • sean t

    Someone starts it and the rest will follow . . .
    It looks more practical than Toyota FT-EV or Mitsubishi iMev anyway.

    If this car succeeds, I guess Magna will be very busy w/ orders and contracts ;-)

  • sean t

    Family Guy,

    The hope that the range will improve is realistic.

  • crookmatt

    Sure this car won’t be fore everyone (only 90% of Americans live within 40 miles of their work)

    But then it will be great for a lot of people, especially if we see another jump in prices at the pump between now and then.

    I think this car is ideal for a second car. My wife and I could have a Prius (or Ford Fusion Hybrid) as our “main/long distance” car, and this could be our around town commuter. We already have a car we only use around town, but unfortunately it runs on gas.

    As long as the price isn’t too high (it’s not like the car is going to get a bunch of points for styling) I think there will be plenty of interest.

  • holzwo2

    A month ago i could only see driving a Toyota or Honda for the rest of my life. They were the only two companies with a vision for the future. It seems now there is a third company. Fix or repair daily has moved to be a respected again. Keep it up Ford.

  • Dave K.

    I’ve always thought that most 2 car families(In the US thats the norm) could certainly have one car be an EV, if the other is a hybrid or PHEV then you get to a really good place as far as fuel consumption.
    I think the Focus is the right size as well, let your other car be the larger station wagon/SUV/minivan/midsized sedan or whatever you think you need to accomodate your family on a trip, the EV is for commuting.
    Go Ford! I hope the offer this in the Focus hatchback version as well.

  • steved28

    I would still carry a little Honda 2kw genny in the trunk.

  • Eric

    Sign me up for one! That is about the time I will be looking for a new car anyway. Never thought I would consider a Ford. Times they are a changing…

  • nycsolar

    They should just develop a removable set of 4-5 extended range batteries that they sell as an option. When going on long trips, you could just put them in your trunk. They would/could be pretty heavy, but if designed properly, they could be about 30lbs each or so, and modular. Just an idea to extend range when needed without adding unnecessary weight.

  • ex-EV1 driver

    FamilyGuy,
    You could always give your friend $2.00 and charge at his house. at 240 volts, 30 amps (standard dryer outlet power), you should be able to get the required extra 30 miles of range to get back home in 1 to 2 hours. That way you won’t have to consume so much good beer that you can’t drive back home safely.
    Personally, I see this as the best news I’ve heard in some time. I just hope it comes true.
    I saw a Ford Ranger Electric last week with NiMH batteries. It was produced in 1998 and is still running great with no maintenance except new tires. Ford definitely can make good vehicles if they put their minds to it.
    I agree with all that the average family will probably want to keep an ICE, HEV, or PHEV as their 2nd car for longer road trips but this can significantly offset someones dependence on gasoline.

  • Samie

    Cost is the million dollar question. Anything above 28k would not work unless they add a small ICE to extend the range. Lets say they can sell this for 28k along with a 4-6K Federal rebate and I believe you have a hit. But some will say why not just get a Yaris or Cobalt for 12-14K instead of spending 22-24K for a EV commuter car. Excitement needs to be added w/ successful marketing to overcome some of these concerns. Again cost is extremely important here as battery costs, charge time, and mileage will need to improve for a majority of American’s. Glad to see Ford move forward with this. The question in the short-term will be if consumers choice EV’s or extended range hybrid plugins like the Volt. The cost to develop Volt types will be more than EV’s but may reduce some concerns initially.

  • Allan deL

    As the owner of a Prius hybrid gas/electric and a ZENN all electric vehicle, this Ford EV makes nothing but sense to me. My Prius has a sophisticated battery management system and the ZENN did not come with one. This makes all the difference in owning an electric vehicle. You save a few dollars by eliminating it and pay a whole lot when the batteries go bad early without it.

    Unfortunately, car makers must focus on the decision at the time of purchase since it is nothing if they can’t sell the car. So the purchase is made without a battery management system and then the customer is unhappy.

    People compare the original cost as if that was a fair comparison. If the lifetime cost of “fuel” is included, the electric car has a huge advantage, but we don’t see that at up front when we are making the decision.

    Now that Ford seems to be making sensible cars, let us hope that buyers will make sensible purchases. This will be great for us all!

  • Indigo

    I wonder if it is possible for the car to tow an itty-bitty gasoline generator behind it for long drives. My commute to work is only 6 miles (all around). My coven is a 60-mile round trip. So the only time this car would not suit my needs would be when I need to visit family out of state. I suppose I could get a rental for those 2-3 times per year, but towing a little generator would be better.

  • Tony

    FamilyGuy:

    I appreciate and share some of your concerns. I don’t think that this is finally the “EV for everyone in every situation”. However it is a significant step because if it lives up to the claims in this article, it will be the first EV on the market that is suitable for a very large number of people.

    Here’s the thing. With a range of 100 miles, there are a tremendous number of people who can use it right now. I remember for a while now we’ve been hearing that some large percentage of the population — certainly large enough to constitute a “market” — commutes under 40 miles to work each way. I happen to fall into that category, so I could theoretically buy one of these cars to get back and forth to work, and to run most of my errands around town.

    Still there are some things I can’t use it for. It’s around 60 or 70 miles one way to the airport for example, and one of my main sources of entertainment is a theme park that’s a little farther. Similarly, my coworker who lives in another town 40 miles away may not be able to use it because it’s just cutting it too close. So while the car will be a step in the right direction, it still isn’t for everyone.

    However, getting them into the market begins to drive some other changes. My employer, or that theme park I was talking about, can now think about installing charging stations at some of their parking facilities. Maybe an enterprising private company starts rolling out a network of them around town. Think Better Place, but you don’t have to use their car, and their battery, and that ridiculous “cell phone” model. Suddenly, driving my EV to the theme park (where I typically spend at least 6 or 8 hours at a time) is not out of the question. Similarly, the EV becomes a viable option for my coworker because now he can charge his vehicle while at work for the drive home. All this also expands the market for additional models from Ford as well as competitors. The implications of this vehicle could be pretty far-reaching, if they can get it to market at a price people will pay.

  • Adrian Majerus

    How about one of those little trailers that motorcyclists pull behind their bikes with a generator head that would supply enough power to run the car and a switch to change on the fly from the vehicles batteries to the generator head in the towable trailer. the generator head in the trailer would be run off a V-Belt from one of the trailers wheels to the generator head thus supplying power without using any gasoline at all and extending trips indefinately…………

  • qqRockyBeans

    this is great!

    hopefully they won’t crush them all four years later!!!

    Will you actually be able to buy it and KEEP IT??
    Will it be available in NJ???

    Hopefully it’ll be based on the much-better new Focus that will actually be the same as the Euro Focus!!!!

  • joe omni

    hackers will juice this car up to a 200 – 300 mile range and it will be great,

    its the same way the early pc was souped up. remember

  • Scott

    I have bought only Honda for last 18 years after being burned by US cars. Looking to replace an 18 year old Honda Accord in next year or two. This car would be perfect for my family and make me consider american again!

  • hybridgreg

    This car is a start to try to convince people to move to all electric. I suspect, though, that it will not be very well received for families that have more than one driver; even if the drive to work is less than 30 miles. The problem with making it a family car is that if the wife wants to go to the store and then get her hair done and the teenager wants to use to go to the mall and then to a football game; by the time the husband leaves for his friend’s house 60 miles away, he will not have a full charge. That senario does not have to play out too many times before the all electric “family car” is going to get a role change. If that battery pack drains before Dad can get back home, he will not be a happy camper. Which leads to another question, how will the different drivers in the family make the decision of who gets to go do their errands at the expense of the other.

  • steved28

    hybridgreg, this is not rocket science. I don’t know about you, but it would be pretty easy for me and my family to keep track of a typical weeks worth of errands. You might be surprised at 1. how much can be achieved in 100 miles, 2. how long a car sits between errands. 3. how much of your travel occurs in short trips. In a 24 hr day, how long does your car sit in the garage/driveway vs. being driven? If one gets in the habit of treating it like their cell phone (plug it in whenever it’s sitting around) it should always be “topped off”.

    Going to see a friend 60 miles away??? Is this really a typical scenario?

  • Tony

    Like I said, just a start. By the way, it may be difficult to get across to the layperson, but just because a full charge will take 6 or 12 hours (or whatever they said) doesn’t mean that you drive your hundred miles and then are stranded somewhere for hours.

    EG, after my hypothetical 80-mile round-trip commute, even if I can’t charge at work, I almost always am at home for an hour or two before going out to do anything for the evening. While I’m not going to get a full charge in that amount of time, I will certainly be able to add another 30 or 35 miles to the remaining range.

    It will be very interesting to see what Ford comes up with in the way of roadside assistance of the sort that you usually get with the first year of a new car. It’s not like when you run out of gas, and they can drive up with a can of gasoline and give you enough to get to the gas station. I have no idea what they’re planning or working on, but one option off the top of my head might be to have a small, replaceable auxiliary battery — included with the car — that could be easily swapped out for a fully charged unit and with enough juice to go 5 or 10 miles or so. Sort of like what Better Place is trying to do but since it would only be used in emergency situations, it would not have to be fully automated and all of that.

  • Allan deL

    My little ZENN EV has a range of 35 miles on a charge. I carry an extension cord for the possibility that I might need a charge while I am away (most gas stations have a place to plug it). Even with many trips in a day, I have NEVER used this extension cord. It is simple. Part of my habit when parking in my garage is to plug it in. When I come out to drive the car for the next trip, the batteries have charged plenty.

    This turns out to be a non issue.

    Our travel patterns are pretty consistent. If it works, it works. If it won’t work, its not for you or you need to reconsider your travel patterns. It is not rocket science.

  • Need2Change

    Ideal for my wife who drives 10 miles to work.

    She’s only put 90K on her 1999 Maxima GLE.

    Hope she prefers this car, rather than a new $35K Maxima.

    Also, early sketches of the 2012 Focus show a vastly improved exterior appearance.

  • vapsa56

    Th next generation Ford Focus is going to be a HOT looking car. The current european Generation Ford Focus is a Show stopper and that is what the next golbal platform generation Focus will be based on. New Focus will likely look something like the crisp Iosis Max Concept that we were shown at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. So there should be no problem as far as looks go.

    Add the EV option to what looks like a complete line up of 2-Door Coupe, 2-Door Convertible, 3-Door Hatch, 4-Door Sedan, 5-Door Hatch and 5-Door Estate ( Wagon) and Foord will have a HIT on its hands.

  • fred smilek

    Finally somebody thought about it. This is pretty neat, I would love to have an electric car. I am just wondering how is it going to be the performance of the car. Lets try

  • hybridgreg

    Steve, the point is well taken. It will definately work for many. In terms of the “60 miles to a friend to see a friend,” I was noting Family Guys post. As Allen DeL said, he has never had a need to use his extension cord. So, maybe it is something that to consider, but not a game changer for a lot of people. I would like to think all-electric will be well received in the short term, but there is a compelling recent history of all-electric cars in the US to suggest that it might take a bit of convincing. Remembering that no single all-electric car offering has sold more that about 17,000 units in the US makes me think that we are a ways away from convincing the consumer. I want to be wrong on this, but time will tell.

  • Allan deL

    My dad grew up before there were cars on the streets. My son may well see the day when gasoline cars are mostly a memory.
    It is true that electric cars are not great in number. I will not see the day, but the real choice is not far away. The real choice will be between a 3 mph horse and buggy and electric cars. The Ford Escort is a prototype that makes sense.

    But the transition will not be sudden and to enter into the world without petroleum unprepared could be catastrophic.

    And yes, time will tell. It will tell a whole lot.

  • dufman

    This would work great for our second car. We’ll still take the family on weekend outings in the minivan but by only using for back and forth to work during the week it will last me about 1.5 weeks.

  • DJB

    Good luck, Ford! But remember, talk is cheap. You don’t get any points in my mind until you actually roll these things out at a decent price.

  • ex-EV1 driver

    hybridgreg,
    you said: “Remembering that no single all-electric car offering has sold more that about 17,000 units in the US makes me think that we are a ways away from convincing the consumer.

    Your 17,000 number is way high but then again, no manufacturer has ever built more than about 1,200 all-electric cars and none ever allowed more than about 200 to even be put up for sale. Every single one of those cars found a recipient to lease it and there were thousands of people on the waiting lists.

    EVs are the way to go if someone will actually make them and sell them. Time will tell but effort is needed to make it actually happen if we are going to have a future standard of living like that which we enjoy today.

    Hang in there Ford!

    fact check:
    - Toyota allowed about 200 of their RAV4EVs to be sold for about 6 months in 2002 and around 100 each of Ford Ranger EVs and Chevy S10EVs were sold after they came off of fleet leases.
    - The major auto manufacturers only released their 1990′s EVs in a few dealers in very few states, predominantly California. GM initially denied any waiting lists but eventually admitted their existance.

  • fred smilek

    I was reading the last 4 post and they were great, a lot of useful information. I agree that this car would be great for a second car option. I already have a small SUV and I love it!

  • hybridgreg

    Ex-EV1 Driver, that was a typo 1700 is the number I was elluding to and that was for any given year for EVs. Sorry for the mis-print

  • Geritol Man

    This is easily the way to go for that second car, or the kids car. Airport has an “airporter” here so driving to the airport is a non issue here. Long trips are the only problem(ie 5000miles). Try train, flying, bus, or rental car. My hybred Ford escape does 10 miles/gallon better than the regular escape! But, not paying for gas is better. Remember that electricity is much cheeper after 11:00 PM. So a charge-up isn’t mutch. When people find themselves saving a $100 every week or 2 with this- they will be sold.

  • Electric Car Conversion

    That is one cool looking electric car. Can’t wait to see all the pure electric cars on the street. We have been replying on fossil fuel for far too long. It’s time for a change.

  • Nigel Jones

    I love my existing (old, 2000, european) focus, and an electric variant would be great given I only usually travel 5-20 miles to work/town.

    Hoping there will be some “fast charge topup” option too to get a boost in say 30mins

  • Bud Light

    Too much money to go 100 miles on a charge. If you are on the road, you will have to get a motel to wait for your battery to charge which will run the price up even more. Ford is throwing away money on this project. EVs should not be manufactured until someone comes up with a way to get long distance mileage out of them. Just another reason why this country is going down the tubes financially.

  • G. M. Kesselring ,USAF Retired

    I already have an electric car, but it is only street legal and as I live in a small town, it is great. I drive it almost every day and my electric bill for the chaging is about $10 per month.
    As soon as I can get a highway legal electric car, I will do so.
    You will never se $1.00 per gallon for gas again, the big oil companies will see to that. In the two years that I have had mine, it has paid for itself, as I bought it what gas was at $4.00 per gallon .. Go FORD I want one !!

  • Ben

    ex-EV1 Driver, I want to make a correction to your fact checking.

    There is one company that has produced and sold over 200 of a given EV, Tesla Motors. Now I know you are all gonna smash on me for this because, “They are too expensive,” “It’s not for the common man,” etc. But, they have done it and they have turned a profit on the roadster. Plus, with plans to release a Model S for around 50k and then a vehicle after that for the same price range being discussed for these cars, it’s a pretty bang up job.

    Right now they have over 500 Roadsters Delivered.
    http://www.teslamotors.com/media/press_room.php?id=1380
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster

  • VeloBusDriver

    You could always get a Kill-a-Watt meter to plug the car into – that way you will know how much electricity your car consumed and can reimburse your friend. Even the maximum charge of 23kWh would only be around $2-$3, depending on power rates. That’s a pretty cheap way to travel 100 miles.

    Despite the low per mile cost of energy for an EV, any cost savings vs. Gasoline will likely be eaten up when you replace the battery pack every 6-10 years or so. The *real* savings in these vehicles will be maintenance. No tune-ups, rare – if ever – brake pad replacement, no oil changes. Even if you somehow wear out the motor, I imagine that could be replaced. King County Metro’s electric trolley bus fleet is operating on 30+ year old electric motors that have been rebuilt and placed into new buses. Electric drivetrains last for a long, long, looooong time.

    Of course, since the car will last a long time, maybe we’ll spend more money on wax jobs, body work, and other cosmetic maintenance… Who knows?

  • Desertstraw

    What the world needs is an electric car designed like a computer. A computer is a collection of generic modules that anybody can put together. If the battery is just one module, the 100 mile car can become a 200, 300, or 400 mile car by changing the battery module. Better batteries are inevitable.

  • old pilot

    I am on my 4 th escort now and all of them were driven way over 100k miles with no major problems. an electric focus will fill my needs very well. go ford..

  • Dude

    Dude,
    Just like the internet and wifi has changed everyone’s lives. The EV will do the same thing. I believe many people would appreciate these changes knowing that you will not be giving your money to the middle east. And by 2020 EV’s will be able to go 500 miles before recharging. Imagine all of the money you will be saving for no more gas.

  • Pete

    The range is an estimate likely by using either a EPA type city loop or some known average driving activity for a typical driver. The former is well defined and the latter is typically various speeds from 25-75MPH with a 40MPH average. Lets take an example, say the range is 100 miles going a constant 60MPH. On most compact cars this works out to 160-200WH/mi which then means a 16-20KWH battery. The reason why the Focus EV pack has a larger capacity is that LiFePO4 batteries last longer if they are not fully discharged every use. 16/23KWH is about a 70% DOD (70% of the capacity is used). Now if you go just 30MPH, you will use somewhere between 80-100WH/mi. That same 16KWH allows you to drive 200 miles.

    Now If fully discharged to 70%DOD every time, the battery will last 3,000 cycles (full capacity drops to 18KWH). But that is 300K miles or about 20 years at the typical 15K miles/yr. But most will discharge it well below that at 20-30% DOD where the battery will last 15K cycles or more (>30 years). BTW at current retail prices, a 23KWH LiFePO4 battery costs about $6K. Fuel cost is 8.7 cents per mile for a 30MPG combined compact car. At 300K miles, that is $26K. The 48,000KWH costs about $5.7K at residential prices. Even adding in the full cost of the battery (likely less as the cells can be remanufactured back to full capacity for a lot less than virgin stuff), the savings are $14K over the life of the battery. And that doesn’t take into consideration consumables for gasoline engines which cost $200-300 a year in planned maintenance.

  • darrell

    ford seems to be really stepping up to the plate with this one. even with the limited milage, it’s the step in the correct direction! to make this car even better, ford should come up with som kind of phantom sunroof, not a sunroof but a solar panel that looks like a sun roof!
    just saying what makes sence!!!

  • Joe

    If Ford is Focusing on price they are on the right track. I would buy one of these tomorrow if the price was $25K or hopefully less. I almost never drive over 50 miles without an opportunity to recharge and I suspect most of the drivers in the country are not that different from me. The Volt will make an excellent primary car but who wants to spend $40K. If there is a tax incentive it should equally apply to all the electric cars. A Ford Focus EV at $25K with a $7500 tax incentive would outsell supply.

  • liko o Maui

    Finally, an EV which isn’t a freak show. I will buy a discrete sedan EV when it becomes available.

    I had an EV 20 years ago (ex airport stock, Suburu 600(?) van), which ran fine. The biggest drawback was people wanting to “jawbone” about it all the time. I took off the “electric vehicle” sticker to nip that in the bud.

    Will be interesting to see the final MSRP and how much the local dealers jack up the price with “dealer mark up”. When the Ford GT came out a few years ago, our local dealer marked it up $250k. Nice.

  • Mack trucks

    One item he would confirm was that there would be none of the whole leasing and taking back of the electric cars that other companies are still infamous for.”The Focus EV had enough torque to spin it’s inside front wheel when accelerating through turns and provide ample power for brisk acceleration. The braking system switched between regenerative and regular braking smoothly with no noticeable hiccups throughout the process. The new Ford Focus electric car promises to travel 100 miles per charge from its lithium-ion battery pack, whose technology is several thousand dollars more expensive than its traditional gas propulsion system.
    ==>http://www.macktruck.org

  • climate changing

    my last vehicle was dodge, now I drive 2010 prius….I will strongly consider nissan leaf and ford focus EV for my next vehicle….hint: you can contact car companies directly and tell them you want EVs and hybrids, espec. ones that don’t currently have them; for instance, I contacted subaru which had a vehicle I was considering if it was a hybrid, and somebody responded the next day and they said they have two hybrids in the works…..I think GM is a crock and liars, I wouldn’t believe anything they say…yes they employ Americans, but they sell more cars in China…and Prius has a new plant in Tupelo MS….

  • climate changing

    my last vehicle was dodge, now I drive 2010 prius….I will strongly consider nissan leaf and ford focus EV for my next vehicle….hint: you can contact car companies directly and tell them you want EVs and hybrids, espec. ones that don’t currently have them; for instance, I contacted subaru which had a vehicle I was considering if it was a hybrid, and somebody responded the next day and they said they have two hybrids in the works…..I think GM is a crock and liars, I wouldn’t believe anything they say…yes they employ Americans, but they sell more cars in China…and Prius has a new plant in Tupelo MS….

  • Ry

    I’ve owned Toyotas since 1981. I was previously burned TWICE (not just once!) by Ford: in 73 with a Maverick that, for no apparent reason, liked to take unplanned “furloughs” after 20 minutes on the highway. Then I purchased a 76 Mercury Monarch that died a natural death on the highway 3 weeks after I bought it. I swore I’d never buy another Ford product. So I bought a Tercel in 77 and fell in love with Toyota.

    Now I’m ready to give Ford another chance, provided their EV is well-engineered and they price it realistically.

    My current Toyota has 130,000 trouble-free miles on it, and I’m planning to trade it in in 2011 or 2012. I’ll follow Consumer Reports’ ratings on the EV…..and if they’re any good, I’ll switch over to Ford one time. Then Ford will have to prove to me that I should stay with them.

  • pingnak

    I wouldn’t worry too much about your friends’ electric bills.

    Get yourself a ‘Kill-A-Watt’ (or equivalent) device to plug in with, assuming the car’s charge controller doesn’t have some sort of power meter (though it won’t measure loss in the extension cord).

    When leaving, look at how many ‘Kilowatt-hours’ your charge consumed on your friends’ outlet.

    Multiply that by the ‘high’ rate of their power bill. They can find out what that is on their statement, or online with their power company’s web site. Usually around $0.14~$0.24 per KW/H.

    Multiply the electrical rate by number of kilowatts that you consumed while plugged in, during your visit. Round it up to the nearest $5.

    You could make a similar arrangement at work to let you ‘top up’ while there. They’d likely just comp it. Especially if your boss falls in love with electric car, too.

  • Deep-Charge

    If you bring the beer, most friends will let you recharge on thier dime. Once these EVs catch on and the production numbers start to rise, there will be rapid advancements. 2012 promises to be a really exciting year for EVs in general, and ford in particular. I’m signed up for a Leaf, but I’m rethinking in Fords direction.

  • Will Edward

    Of course this vehicle won’t be for everybody but it would be a dream come true for me. I’m disabled and rarely leave my immediate community. I have everything I need right on my side of the city including a hospital, eating place, super centers, movies etc. The only time I leave my general area is to visit friends or a doctor’s appt. As long as I remain in my city and carefully plan, I could not exceed the 100 mile round trip. I could if I don’t take the short cuts but I know all of the quick routes in my city so this car would be perfect for me. And if I needed to go on a longer trip, just rent a car, no problem!

  • ju ju

    Yahoo — I am a FORD stockholder and extremely excited about the release of an all electric vehicle. My commute round trip is 92 and an extra couple miles if I stop at the stores on the way home. I’m thinking there would be some type of solar charger that could be hooked up to the car to charge as you go like the prius roof top solar. As soon as this type of car is released the technology will sore!

    American innovation is alive and we’ll see great products ahead in the electric world.

  • Jehnavi

    Ford Rocks!! Not only Ford, but u also rocks as the presentation of the article is quite interesting. Well, the electric cars are always welcomed by the car lovers as they are the money saving and energy saving cars. The passion of reading of Ford Focus EV is so thrilling and smashing that I am quite desperate to drive it crazily!! Once again I must say, the writer drove the car with great intensities. Good job, just like Ford!!
    http://www.macktruck.org

  • Duskrider

    Electric cars use either zero or next to zero electricity when you are not moving. Even the Prius does that now as a hybrid, which is why its city mileage is greater than its highway mileage.

    Terrible traffic won’t significantly alter any of the math.

  • Brian S Varley

    EXCELLENT IDEA!!! I am soooo ready for an EV!! And, I plan to keep my second car for hauling, etc. But, this would be my commuter and I would use it for long trips if they had the battery option!!! LOVE THIS IDEA!!!!!

  • Michael Walsh

    Need it now! Or at least more news on it. Will be putting $100 down on a Leaf next week, and will probably follow through on the purchase if nothing more comes out of Ford between now and August. Which will be a pity really, ’cause I already own two Focii and really like the cars!

  • Pat

    My husband has a Focus, and it’s a great car (apart from a little too much road noise). I grab it instead of my own for trips to the rink. I’ve been trying to decide between a focus and an electric vehicle for my next car. Nice to know I don’t need to choose 8^). An all-electric vehicle with a 100+ mile range would be perfect for the type of driving I do. Back and forth 15 miles to work, with some shopping on the side. The big question is: will they offer both the sedan and the station wagon versions? Much easier to fit a hockey bag, two sticks and goalie pads into the station wagon.

  • Teash

    This is never mentioned quite enough. When are these products available in Canada? In the Greater Toronto Area there are well over 5 million people within 50km of work, km making up a lot less miles means everyone is a potential customer for being able to buy this car to get to work everyday and manage to not encounter energy problems. (Heating may use a lot of energy)

  • BG

    How about a small Solar panel under the roof or hood for extra mileage? I may look a little cheezy but you can make it look like a racing stripe this would give you perhaps a few extra miles especially stuck in traffic, They probably have thought about it.

  • Ray G.

    I wish they would make a Ford sport trac electric.
    Drive over a 100 miles, with brakes charging the batteries, & a generator if needed.

    That right.

  • Rich Little

    very interested in focus ev. would like more info. does it have a hatchback,etc.

  • Anonymous

    Sigh, they just rolled out pricing at $40k. There goes the value proposition.

  • greg

    so… a 20k car gets it’s internal combustion engine replaced with a bank of batteries and a straight drive electric motor and now it’s 40k, This deal is too good to pass!
    hmmm… your right Ford…it must be raining.

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  • bloggin

    This is such an old article with such outdated and just wrong information. If anyone want’s information on the Focus Electric, just go to Ford.com.

  • coches electricos

    The best thing is how little it has to go spending 100 milles, without a doubt will make the competition to the normal focus

  • brent russel

    What i want to know is why no one will tell the consumer how much your electric bill will go up when you charge your electric car up every nite so you can drive on just electric

  • Jazzenjohn

    The reason they won’t Brent is because the price of electricity varies quite a bit across the country from less than 6 cents to more than 20 cents per KWH. Also, several electric companies have plans that cost you less to charge at night. It also depends on how much you drive. The pack on the Focus BEV is 23 KWH so if you pay 10 cents per KWH you should pay roughly $2.50 for a 100 mile “fill up”. The rough comparison to a gas Focus is that if the regular car gets 450 miles per tank of gas at $4 per gallon for 12 gallons or $48 the electric would take 4.5 electric fill ups at $2.50 or $11.25. In order to maximize the value for the $32,000 car (after fed rebate) You would drive nearly the full distance of the battery pack in the city most days. Having a 105 mile commute would not be good unless you had some way to recharge. The very best would be if you could charge it at work for free!!

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  • Webs

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    I think every Management level and above employee should undergo a psychological evaluation. That being said, half would probably fail. this article

  • joe

    hey moron, just because your friend lives 65 miles away, doesn’t make it a commuter car!

  • Austin

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  • Hosting

    I happen to fall into that category, so I could theoretically buy one of these cars to get back and forth to work, and to run most of my errands around town.

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    The specialized version of the MyFord Touch technology for the Focus Electric offers an innovative presentation of vehicle information, such as battery state of charge, distance to charge points, range budget and expected range margin. Anti Moustique

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  • Jack99

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    I stop at the stores on the way home. I’m thinking there would be some type of solar charger that could be hooked up to the car to charge as you go like the prius roof top solarOn DBT.com

  • arthurarnold

    The interior was redesigned, including new seats, a new dashboard design with message center atop of the dashboard, ambient lighting, dashboard panels that simulate brushed aluminum, and Ford’s voice-controlled Sync audio/Bluetooth system. Also included in the redesign was a support beam behind the dashboard for extra structural rigidity. electrician

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  • anthonyansel

    Ford is gearing up to become a major competitor in the electric vehicle market in the years to come. The wide model range that it plans on selling looks sure to become a fierce competitor of the ever so popular Toyota Prius. Shortly, a company that has been known for gas guzzlers may reinvent itself as a company known for its gas savers. best homeschool curriculum

  • jackjohnson

    The interior was redesigned, including new seats, a new dashboard design with message center atop of the dashboard, ambient lighting, dashboard panels that simulate brushed aluminum, and Ford’s voice-controlled Sync audio/Bluetooth system. Also included in the redesign was a support beam behind the dashboard for extra structural rigidity. uk franchises

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  • Paul Boswell

    I don’t think EVs need to match the gasoline engine’s 300 mile range, but I think 150 is the magic number and I understand at least one battery manufacturer has solved the problem. So, once a number of EVs can provide at least 150 miles between charges and when gasoline hits $5 per gallon (possibly as early as mid-2013) the market will take off. Price remains the biggest obstacle. An entry-level Ford Focus EV costs as much as a luxury BMW Roadster. Then the cost of installing the quick charge system (around $1500) would pay for a year’s worth of gasoline. True, the cost of electricity is a fraction of what gasoline costs and there are no maintenance costs with an electric, but the unproven battery technology presents a costly gamble on the frequency they have to be changed.

  • adamabraham

    Ford conducted research to define the optimal location of the charge port for the Focus Electric and the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid. The carmaker decided to locate the port in the left front fender as such location is more convenient for home charging, which Ford found is what most customers would do. Los Angeles Movers

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  • RShanklin

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  • Berto

    I live in South Florida and the temperature is above 80 most of the year….What about the air conditioning system in an electric car?

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  • Van

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    Another small correction. Well the same one, but in the story preview only it says: “The 2013 Focus Electric is priced at $39,200 – about $9,000 over the present average American new car price – and before the $3,750 federal or state tax incentives are potentially deducted.”
    While in the story it has the correct $7,500 in federal tax incentives.

    Again, please delete when corrected.

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    Fuel that makes energy to ship goods, or make electric for homes and manufacturing. Can transform whole nations into prosperity and wealth or poverty and economic hardships for most all. Just as taxes on taxpayers has done. For over two thousand years. Making slaves of many to the wicked and unjust few. History Lesson Roman Empire, Persian Empire now OIL Empire oh sorry OPEC.

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