The Focus Electric is Ford's first consumer-oriented battery-electric vehicle, based on the Ford Focus compact hatchback. Ford says the car's range will be "up to 100 miles," but the EPA has rated the car around 76 miles per charge. Its primary competitor is the Nissan Leaf.
Like Nissan, which has contracted AeroVironment to assess and install charging setups at buyers' homes, Ford will be working with Best Buy and its Geek Squad tech-support operation to manage third-party electrical contractors.
Ford estimates that a depleted Focus Electric battery pack will recharge in as little as four hours using a 240-volt home charging station, roughly twice as fast as the Leaf.
New For 2013
The 2013 Focus Electric gets a new driver's knee airbag as well as four-way adjustable front and rear head restraints.
ExteriorThe Focus Electric shares the overall shape of the Focus hatchback, but it has a few distinguishing elements. A dead giveaway is the charging port — which is surrounded by an LED display that indicates charge status while the car is plugged in — on the driver-side front fender. It also has a unique, prominent front grille — ironic because the electric car has less cooling demands than a car with an internal-combustion engine. The nose is otherwise smoother and free of fog lights to improve aerodynamics. Exterior features include:
- Unique 17-inch alloy wheels with low-rolling-resistance tires
- LED running lamps with high-intensity-discharge headlights
- Rear spoiler
- "Electric" badges
InteriorTwin LCD screens flank the speedometer, and there's a battery-charge display in place of a fuel gauge. The screens are configurable and include a mode where bluish butterflies populate or disappear based on driving efficiency.
Like in the Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, owners can preheat or precool the cabin on grid power before a trip. This helps preserve the battery's charge when driving because less energy needs to be spent heating or cooling the interior. The feature can be scheduled ahead of time or activated remotely using a smartphone app. Interior features include:
- Seats five in standard cloth seats; leather upholstery available
- Heated front seats
- 60/40-split folding backseat
- Touch-screen navigation system
- Sony audio
- Sync with MyFord Touch technology
- Push-button start
Under the HoodThe Focus Electric uses a 23-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that features liquid heating and cooling to maximize range and the battery's life expectancy. A 143-horsepower electric motor drives the front wheels to a top speed of 84 mph. Mechanical features include:
- Regenerative braking
- 6.6-kilowatt onboard charger for 240-volt charging
- 120-volt charging cord for common household outlets and slower charging
- Single-speed automatic transmission
Standard safety features include:
- Antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system
- Traction control
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Side curtain airbags
- Driver's knee airbag