Ford reveals electric Focus 08 | 01 | 2011

    FORD IS THE latest to jump on the electric vehicle bandwagon with the unveiling of its new Focus Electric. The Focus is the flagship of the car giant's five-strong fleet of alternatively fuelled cars and potentially the most significant all-electric rival to the Nissan Leaf.

    On sale in the States later this year, the Focus Electric (pictured at a charging point) won't be available in Europe until 2012. The company is currently testing the previous-generation Focus Electric in London and the results will influence how Ford markets the new car in Europe.

    With the newcomer, Ford has taken the route — similar to that of Volkswagen with the Golf — of placing the electric engine on the standard car’s platform. But while that certainly helps lower development costs and should make buyers should be more at ease with the concept of an EV, the core problems of range still exist.

    The Focus's electric motor is powered by a 28kWh lithium ion battery which gives the Ford a highly respectable top speed of 84mph. Encouragingly, a standard full recharge from a 240V outlet will take three to four hours, half the time of the Nissan Leaf. Ford is targeting a range of 100 miles; quite how that will translate in 'real world' driving remains to be seen.

    Certainly, from what the bigwigs at Ford say — the car was launched in Las Vegas ahead of next week's Detroit Motor Show — the Focus sounds appealing. Steering, handling and braking are believed to feel almost identical to those of the standard Focus, with the main changes being improved aerodynamics and a much quieter cabin due to the electric powertrain.

    The American-spec Focus Electrics, which will be built in Michigan, includes an advanced MyFord Touch infotainment system. Cleverly, this features coaching on achieving a driving style which is more eco-friendly; detailed information on battery life, and a smart satellite navigation system which tells you how far your current charge will get you, are aimed at maximising the car's range.

    The car giant has also jumped on the burgeoning growth in apps. A new MyFord Mobile app will allow the owner to control certain functions — such as heating — remotely. The app will also provide charging data and receive alerts when the car needs charging or has finished charging.

    In another pioneering development, Ford has teamed up with Microsoft to offer a value charging system which fuels the car when electricity is at its cheapest. The advantages of this, in addition to keeping costs down, is it will help minimise the strain on the national grid.

    In addition to the Focus Electric, Ford offers other alternatively fuelled vehicles, including an electric Transit Connect, hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the C-Max and a yet-to-be-revealed next-gen hybrid.

    Keep up-to-date with all the latest news by following us on

    Jim McGill

User Comments

Login or register to post comments.