2012 Ford Focus Electric

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(4.3) 6 reviews
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Overview
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Key Specs

of the 2012 Ford Focus Electric. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Based on impressive gas car
  • Zero tailpipe emissions
  • Eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit
  • Rapid home charging times (240 volts)
  • Off-peak charging capability

The Bad

  • Gradual national rollout
  • No gasoline backup
  • Range varies with temperature, terrain
  • Requires home electrical upgrade

Notable Features of the 2012 Ford Focus Electric

  • All-electric version of Focus compact
  • Four-door hatchback
  • Range up to 100 miles
  • Full charge in three to four hours
  • Standard navigation system
  • Best Buy to provide charger installation

2012 Ford Focus Electric Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

The Focus Electric is Ford's first consumer-oriented battery-electric vehicle, based on the redesigned 2012 Ford Focus compact hatchback. Ford says the car's range will be "up to 100 miles," but the EPA hasn't rated the car yet. Nissan made the same claim for its Leaf electric car, whose range is EPA-rated at 73 miles.

As a battery-electric car with no gas backup, the Focus Electric's direct competitors are the Leaf and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. 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 three to four hours using a 240-volt home charging station, roughly twice as fast as the Leaf.

Pricing hasn't been announced, but the Focus Electric should be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit. It will begin delivery late in 2011 in select markets: Boston; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; Los Angeles; San Francisco; San Diego; Seattle; New York; Washington, D.C.; Orlando, Fla.; Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Houston; Phoenix; Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh/Durham, N.C.; and Richmond, Va.

Exterior
The 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 displa...

Vehicle Overview

The Focus Electric is Ford's first consumer-oriented battery-electric vehicle, based on the redesigned 2012 Ford Focus compact hatchback. Ford says the car's range will be "up to 100 miles," but the EPA hasn't rated the car yet. Nissan made the same claim for its Leaf electric car, whose range is EPA-rated at 73 miles.

As a battery-electric car with no gas backup, the Focus Electric's direct competitors are the Leaf and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. 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 three to four hours using a 240-volt home charging station, roughly twice as fast as the Leaf.

Pricing hasn't been announced, but the Focus Electric should be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit. It will begin delivery late in 2011 in select markets: Boston; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; Los Angeles; San Francisco; San Diego; Seattle; New York; Washington, D.C.; Orlando, Fla.; Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Houston; Phoenix; Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh/Durham, N.C.; and Richmond, Va.

Exterior
The 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. There are modest "Electric" badges all around.

The Focus Electric features a modified but still prominent grille — ironic because the electric car has less cooling demands than internal-combustion engines. The nose is otherwise smoother and is free of fog lights to improve aerodynamics. LED running lights adorn the headlight clusters. The wheels are distinctive 17-inch alloys with Michelin Energy Saver low-rolling-resistance tires.

Interior
The Focus Electric accommodates up to five occupants in standard cloth seats. The folding backseat is split 60/40 like the higher gas-powered trim levels. (Lower trims have a single-piece folding bench.) Other standard features include push-button start, a touch-screen navigation system and Sony nine-speaker stereo with Sirius Satellite Radio.

Twin LCD screens flank the speedometer, with a battery-charge display in place of a fuel gauge. The gauges can be configured to show charge range versus the anticipated distance of your trip, and they can also display a diagram to show the range situation at a glance. Bluish butterflies populate or disappear to indicate how efficiently you're driving and how much battery range you have versus your intended trip.

With a feature similar to those on the Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, owners can preheat or precool the cabin on grid power with the charging cable. This preserves the battery charge for miles of range once the car is unplugged and driven. (Heat and air conditioning use electric power, decreasing range.) The feature can be scheduled ahead of time or activated remotely using a MyFord Touch owner website or smartphone app.

Under the Hood
The Focus Electric uses a 23-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that's heated and cooled by liquid to maximize range and life expectancy. An electric motor or motors (yet to be announced) drive the front wheels to a top speed of 84 mph.

A 6.6-kilowatt onboard charger works with the 240-volt charging station to fill the battery pack in half the time required by the Leaf, according to Ford. (The Leaf's onboard charger has lower capacity and thus charges more slowly.) A 120-volt cord for charging from a common household outlet is included, but it takes at least three times as long as the 240-volt system. Ford estimates the charging station hardware and installation will cost about $1,499, but prices vary widely.


Safety
As required by law of all 2012 models, the Focus Electric has standard antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system. Six airbags are also standard.


2012 Focus Electric Video

While other electric cars trickle into the market, the 2012 Ford Focus Electric is the closest competitor yet to the 2012 Nissan Leaf.

Latest 2012 Focus Electric Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.3)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.3)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

What Drivers Are Saying

(2.0)

Not enough juice

by CC from Wilsonville on February 10, 2018

The specs say it'll go 100 miles on a charge; however, it'll only go 40. If it were 100, I would have bought it. It would've made a great commuter car for me. Read full review

(4.0)

Might buy the Versa instead

by DaveB from Sylva, NC on March 31, 2017

I bought this car based on my positive experience of my 2014 Focus gas. The 2012 Focus EV that I purchased for $9500 had just come off a lease and had just over 20,000 miles. Needless to say the price ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2012 Ford Focus Electric currently has 2 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2012 Ford Focus Electric has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Ford
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 60,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    Less than 6 years old/less than 80,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    12 months/12,000 miles

  • Powertrain warranty

    7 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    172-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Focus Electric received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker