DEARBORN: Ford marks its foray into the growing EV industry with the new Focus Electric – the company’s first electric passenger car.
The Focus Electric will launch in late 2011 and is designed to offer enough range to cover the majority of daily driving habits of Americans. It will offer a mile-per-gallon equivalent better than Chevrolet Volt and competitive with other battery electric vehicles.
“Its advanced powertrain will deliver significant energy efficiency advantages and zero CO2 emissions without compromising driving enjoyment," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president for Global Product Development.
"And its suite of smart driver information technologies will transform the way customers think about energy usage and their transportation needs.”
A full recharge is expected to take three to four hours at home with the 240-volt charge station –half the charge time of the Nissan Leaf.
Focus Electric introduces new features and technologies – including a unique version of the MyFord Touch driver connect system especially for electric vehicles, a new charging feature powered by Microsoft and a smartphone app called MyFord Mobile that helps plug-in owners control their vehicles remotely.
The five-door hatchback leverages Ford’s global C-car platform shared by the petrol and diesel-powered Focus models, which debuted at the 2010 North American International Auto Show and were launched at the Paris Motor Show in September.
Both Focus petrol and electric variants to be sold in North America will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, with production powered in part by one of the largest solar energy generator systems in the state.
For European markets, a decision on where the Focus Electric will be built is currently being finalised.
Focus Electric is one of five new electrified vehicles included in Ford’s electrification strategy. Initial deliveries of Transit Connect Electric began in North America at the end of last year and the vehicle will be launched in Europe later in 2011.