2012 Ford Focus Electric Vehicle (EV) on Driving the Nation

2012 Ford Focus Electric Vehicle (EV) on Driving the Nation

Chad D’Arcy, Focus Electric Marketing Manager, talked to Lou Ann Hammond, CEO, www.drivingthenation.com, about the new 2012 Ford Focus Electric Vehicle (EV). The Focus EV will come out in New York, New Jersey and California first. Californians will be able to save $10,000 and cruise in the HOV lanes in the Ford Focus EV. The Focus EV was nominated for World Car of the Year.

From the Ford Focus Electric Vehicle (EV) press release:

Ford Focus Electric Becomes Americas Most Fuel-Efficient Five-Passenger Vehicle with 110 MPGe EPA Rating

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certifies the 2012 Ford Focus Electric as Americas most fuel-efficient five-passenger vehicle with a 110 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city rating
Focus Electric achieves a combined rating of 105 MPGe, topping Nissan Leaf by 6 MPGe while also offering more motor power, passenger room and standard features
Customers can make more use of this efficiency with Fords faster charging technology that can recharge Focus Electric in about half the time of Nissan Leaf
Ford gives customers the power of choice with 10 fuel-efficiency leaders across segments and powertrain technologies

DEARBORN, Mich., March 2, 2012 “ Fords all-new Focus Electric is now officially Americas most fuel-efficient five-passenger car with a certified 110 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city rating and 99 MPGe on the highway.

Focus Electric also has been certified by the EPA to offer 105 MPGe combined, beating Nissan Leaf by 6 MPGe while offering more motor power and more standard features. Focus Electrics 99 MPGe highway certification bests the 92 MPGe rating for the Leaf.

Focus Electric bests Nissan Leaf in other ways, too “ more passenger room and a faster charging system that allows for a full recharge in nearly half the time of Nissan Leaf.

The Focus line soon will be joined by the new 2013 Ford Fusion “ aiming to be Americas most fuel-efficient gas- and hybrid-powered midsize sedans “ to help create one of the industrys most fuel-efficient car lineups. The Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is projected to become the worlds most fuel-efficient midsize sedan by achieving more than 100 MPGe in electric mode.

“Ford is giving customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy regardless of what type of vehicle or powertrain technology they choose,” said Eric Kuehn, chief nameplate engineer, Focus Electric. “The Focus and Fusion are great examples of how we transformed our fleet of cars, utilities and trucks with leading fuel efficiency.”

The EPA-approved Focus Electric label also certifies that the car has a range of 76 miles on a single charge compared with the 73-mile range of the Leaf. The Focus Electric can be driven up to 100 miles on a single charge depending on driving habit’s. The average driver drives 29 miles a day, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics website.

The approved label also will say customers could save $9,700 in fuel costs over the course of five years compared with the average new vehicle. Comparative savings could go even higher if the current trend of rising gas prices continues. In California alone, the cost for a gallon of gas rose 20 cents in a seven-day period that ended last week.

Fuel-efficiency champs
Focus Electric is the flagship of Fords transformed lineup that features 10 vehicles with leading fuel economy. Fords other fuel-efficiency leaders include:

2013 Fusion 1.6-liter EcoBoost: Projected 37 mpg highway that would make it Americas most fuel-efficient non-rechargeable midsize sedan
2013 Escape 1.6-liter EcoBoost: Expected to be the most fuel-efficient crossover of it’s kind with 33 mpg highway
2013 Taurus 2.0-liter EcoBoost: Expected to deliver best-in-class 31 mpg highway
2012 Edge 2.0-liter EcoBoost: Delivers 30 mpg highway, besting all SUVs it’s size or larger and even some cars such as the Honda Civic Si
2012 Explorer 2.0-liter EcoBoost: One of the most fuel-efficient seven-passenger SUVs on the market, delivering 28 mpg highway
2013 Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid: Aiming to become the worlds most fuel-efficient midsize sedan with a projected 100 MPGe rating
2013 Fusion Hybrid: Expected to become the worlds most fuel-efficient non-rechargeable midsize sedan with 47 mpg
2012 Fiesta: Offers up to 40 mpg highway and class-leading 33 mpg combined rating
2012 F-150: The most fuel-efficient full-size pickup, with V6 models delivering best-in-class 23 mpg highway and 17 mpg city
“Weve been working for three years to make the Focus Electric Americas most fuel-efficient vehicle of it’s kind,” said Chuck Gray, Ford chief engineer of Global Core Engineering Hybrid and Electric Vehicles. “The entire group feels like a sports team that has just won a major championship. Its a good feeling to be at this point now.”

Unlike competitors that have designed electric and hybrid vehicles from scratch, Focus Electric benefit’s from being based on the fuel version of Fords global C-segment car.

“Focus Electric shares many of the same premium components and features as it’s gasoline-powered counterpart while delivering distinct efficiencies and a uniquely exciting driving experience,” said Kuehn.

In addition to boosting quality, Fords strategic decision to electrify vehicle platforms “ instead of creating one-off vehicles “ allows the company to offer customers more choices as part of it’s fuel-efficient product lineup.

Elec-tech
Focus Electric features an advanced charging system that allows the cars battery to fully recharge in four hours “ nearly half the time of Nissan Leaf “ using available 240-volt outlets that can be installed in residential garages.

Faster charging with 240 volts also can extend range as drivers can more quickly recharge between stops “ up to 20 miles per charge hour “ so they can significantly improve a cars range during a busy day of driving by recharging multiple times.

For those who need to charge up while away from home, the number of charging stations continues to rise. In the last 10 months the number of charging stations in the United States has risen from 750 to 5,507, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

To cut charging costs at home, a unique value charging feature powered by Microsoft is designed to help owners in the U.S. charge their vehicles at the cheapest utility rates, which can make charging the Focus Electric less costly than charging the Nissan Leaf.

Other standard features on Focus Electric include Fords Rear View Camera System, MyKey®, rain-sensing windshield wipers and Reverse Sensing System.

Tech sharing
Many of the technologies in Focus Electric are shared across Fords electrified vehicle lineup. Some of the shared or soon-to-be-shared features include:

SYNC® with MyFord Touch® offers multiple ways “ including voice commands “ for customers to manage and control their phone, navigation, entertainment and climate functions. Plug-in hybrids and all-electric models have additional options for monitoring information like battery state of charge
MyFord Mobile enables access via smartphone or Web-based interface to perform key tasks, such as monitoring a vehicles state of charge and current range or locating charge stations and planning routes to find them
SmartGauge® with EcoGuide provides instantaneous fuel economy so drivers can adjust driving behavior accordingly if needed
Regenerative braking captures and reuses more than 95 percent of the braking energy normally lost during the braking process
Hybrid transmission, designed by Ford engineers in-house, is capable of operating at high speeds and in a smooth, fuel-efficient manner at the same time
Lithium-ion batteries “ the lithium-ion battery pack in Focus Electric is covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile component warranty
Charge port (for electric and plug-in vehicles), conveniently located on the drivers side and near the front of the car, activates a light ring that illuminates the port twice when plugged in. The light ring then illuminates in quadrants as the car charges. Each quadrant represents 25 percent of the maximum battery charge
Recycled fiber made from 100 percent post-consumer and post-industrial content is used in the seat fabric with the equivalent of 22 plastic, 16-ounce water bottles in each car
Production of the Focus Electric began in December 2011 at Fords Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. More information about MAP can be found here.

Ford will ramp up Focus Electric retail production in the first half of 2012 for dealership availability in California, New York and New Jersey. By the end of 2012, Focus Electric will be available in 19 markets across the U.S.

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.