It’s been what seems a long time in coming, but Ford finally officially pulled the wraps off its brand new electric vehicle, (EV) the Focus Electric recently, and also said that production of the sporty, five-seat hatchback has gotten underway at its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, MI. This is the company’s second EV following the December 2010 rollout of the Ford Transit Connect Electric – a small commercial van also manufactured in Wayne.
Ford is boasting that the new Focus is expected to be the first first five-passenger EV with a 100 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) — one mpg-e more than its rival: the five-passenger electric Nissan Leaf. Ford also claims that, due to some new battery and charging innovations, the Focus will take a full charge using a 240 volt charger in about three hours. That’s half the time it takes for an equivalent charge of the Leaf. If there’s no time for a full juice up, Ford says an hour on the hose will add 30 miles to the car’s range.
Under the hood the Focus is powered by a 23 kW lithium-ion battery pack connected to a motor capable of providing about 130 horsepower. That’s enough get up and go to give the Focus a top speed of about 84 MPH and a range of around 100 miles. Ford says the advanced battery system uses an active liquid cooling and heating thermal management system to regulate the temperature in the battery. This feature helps to maximize battery life and driving range.
The car also features Ford’s interconnected driver system called MyFord Touch as well as a mobile phone app called MyFord Mobile.
Sales of the 2012 Ford Focus Electric will begin shortly and because initial production of the 2012 model year will be limited, the Focus Electric will be available only in 19 metropolitan areas including Atlanta, Houston and Austin, Texas, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York City, Orlando, Florida, Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, Portland, Oregon, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Virginia, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
The first deliveries are scheduled to take place in California and New York, followed by the other initial markets by the second quarter of 2012.