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Ford has unveiled their first ever fuel-free, rechargeable passenger car at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. In fact, Ford says this will be the first of five total fuel-free vehicles they plan on revealing. The new Focus Electric will be offered in both North America and Europe by late 2011 and is Ford’s response to the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf. We knew it would come eventually, we just didn’t they were planning on bringing a whole troop of fuel-free vehicles to go up against the competition.

The new Ford Focus Electric will be launched with a series of new technologies including a unique version of the MyFord Touch driver connect system especially for electric vehicles, a new value charging feature powered by Microsoft, and a smartphone app called MyFord Mobile that helps plug-in owners control their vehicles remotely.

The model uses a Ford-engineered lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged using the recommended 240-volt wall-mounted charge station (sold separately) or the 120-volt convenience cord that comes with the vehicle. According to Ford it delivers a mile-per-gallon equivalent better than the Chevrolet Volt.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Ford Focus Electric.

Exterior and Interior

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The Focus Electric is a stylish five-door hatchback built on the same C-car platform shared by the gasoline and diesel-powered Focus models. With this model, customers will get a revised MyFord Touch driver connect technology, 15-spoke 17-inch aluminum wheels, a 60/40 split rear bench seat, push button start, AM/FM/CD/MP3 Sony Audio with nine speakers, Sirius Satellite Radio with Travel Link, HD Radio, and a voice-activated Navigation System.

One of the most important features of the car’s interior is a new MyFord Touch system that offers information about range, destinations, and charge points. This allows the driver to feel at ease on the road with all of the needed information on hand. These details will be displayed in the two 4.2-inch full-color LCD screens located in the centrally mounted speedometer.

The Engine

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The new Ford Focus Electric uses an all-electric powertrain connected to a single-speed transmission that helps the car hit a top speed of 84 mph. The lithium-ion battery pack can be charged at any 240-volt wall-mounted charge station and can be fully charged in three to four hours. According to Ford, the Focus Electric delivers a mile-per-gallon equivalent better than the Chevrolet Volt and is competitive with other battery electric vehicles.

When can I buy one?

The Focus Electric will be available for both European and American markets by late 2011.


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For the new Ford Focus Electric, the list of competitors is quite short and includes the latest Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf. For us the best looking one is the Nissan Leaf. It uses lithium ion cells that are capable of delivering up to 107 HP and 208 lb-ft of torque. Nissan claims that the Leaf will take 8 hours for a full charge from a 200 V source - so a high capacity 220 V outlet is recommended, otherwise it will take twice as long for a full charge from a standard 110 V AC outlet.

The Chevrolet Volt is designed to drive up to 40 miles on electricity without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the Volt’s lithium-ion battery runs low, an engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the total driving range to more than 300 miles before refueling or stopping to recharge the battery.

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Press release

Ford Motor Company unveiled today its all-new Focus Electric – the company’s first-ever all-electric passenger car. The zero-CO2-emissions, gasoline-free version of Ford’s popular small car is the flagship of the company’s growing fleet of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles coming to North America and Europe by 2013.

“Focus Electric is the flagship of our new family of electrified vehicles, showcasing our commitment to offer consumers choice when it comes to fuel-efficient or fuel-free vehicles,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president for Global Product Development. “Its advanced powertrain will deliver significant energy efficiency advantages and zero CO2 emissions without compromising driving enjoyment. And its suite of smart driver information technologies will transform the way customers think about energy usage and their transportation needs.”

The Focus Electric will launch in late 2011 and is designed to offer enough range to cover the majority of daily driving habits of Americans. It will offer a mile-per-gallon equivalent better than Chevrolet Volt and competitive with other battery electric vehicles.

A full recharge is expected to take three to four hours at home with the 240-volt charge station –half the charge time of the Nissan Leaf.

Focus Electric introduces new features and technologies – including a unique version of the MyFord Touch driver connect system especially for electric vehicles, a new value charging feature powered by Microsoft and a smartphone app called MyFord Mobile that helps plug-in owners control their vehicles remotely.

The sleek and stylish five-door hatchback leverages Ford’s global C-car platform shared by the gasoline and diesel-powered Focus models, which debuted at the 2010 North American International Auto Show and were launched at the Paris Motor Show in September.

Both Focus gasoline and electric variants to be sold in North America will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., with production powered in part by one of the largest solar energy generator systems in the state.

For European markets, a decision on where the Focus Electric will be built is currently being finalized.

Focus Electric is one of five new electrified vehicles included in Ford’s electrification strategy. Initial deliveries of Transit Connect Electric began in North America at the end of last year and the vehicle will be launched in Europe later in 2011.

A real car

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Not only is Focus Electric designed to provide outstanding energy efficiency and reliable operation, it also delivers real driving enjoyment. The all-electric powertrain and single-speed transmission provide immediate responsiveness and smooth acceleration when the driver pushes down the accelerator, up to a top speed of 84 mph (136 kph).

Much of Focus Electric’s steering, handling and braking feel is shared with the agile, sporty, fuel-powered Focus models upon which it’s based, making Focus Electric a dynamic driver’s car. At the same time, the absence of a gasoline or diesel engine and outstanding aerodynamics lead to a remarkably quiet, comfortable in-car experience.

“More than any other electric vehicle on the market, Focus Electric loses none of the dynamics and quality of driving a traditional car,” said Sherif Marakby, director of Ford’s electrification programs and engineering. “It shares many of the same premium components and features as its gasoline-powered counterpart, while delivering distinct efficiencies and a uniquely exciting driving experience.”

Focus Electric offers a host of standard safety and security features including six airbags and electronic traction control, along with hands-free SYNC® telephone connectivity and MyKey® for North America. Extensive eco-friendly materials, such as bio-foam seat cushions and recycled fabrics also are featured in the vehicle.

Other standard features on Ford Focus Electric for North American customers include a unique execution of MyFord Touch driver connect technology, 15-spoke 17-inch aluminum wheels, a 60/40 split rear bench seat, push button start, AM/FM/CD/MP3 Sony® Audio with nine speakers, Sirius® Satellite Radio with Travel Link, HD Radio™ and voice-activated Navigation System.

Plug and play

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Future owners of the Focus Electric will likely recharge the car’s advanced, Ford-engineered lithium-ion battery pack at home on a daily basis, using the recommended 240-volt wall-mounted charge station that will be sold separately or the 120-volt convenience cord that comes with the vehicle.

When plugged in, the Focus Electric onboard charger converts AC power from the electric grid to DC power to charge the liquid-cooled/heated battery pack.

“We’re very excited about the potential of Focus Electric in the marketplace. With so many of us accustomed to recharging mobile electronics on a daily basis, we’re confident our customers will take to the vehicle recharging process just as easily, because that’s exactly what it is – easy,” said Nancy Gioia, Ford director of Global Electrification. “Not only have we made the practice of plugging in simple and straightforward, we’re working with leading technology companies and the utility industry to make the EV experience empowering and engaging.”

An empowering experience

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Focus Electric owners will be provided with a suite of driver information systems – on-board and off-board – designed to help them manage the recharge process, manage the most eco-friendly route on-board, monitor battery state of charge and maximize energy efficiency to optimize their driving range. This carefully engineered set of tools is designed to give Focus Electric the edge over competitive products, providing new electric vehicle owners the information they need to enjoy all the freedom gas-free driving has to offer.

Among these tools is a unique execution of MyFord Touch driver connect technology. Thoughtfully developed for electric vehicle owners, it offers innovative presentation of vehicle information, such as battery state of charge, distance to charge point, the corresponding range budget and expected range margin. The system’s MyView feature allows drivers to access even more vehicle data including the electrical demands of vehicle accessories such as air conditioning, which can impact driving range.

Just as the growing leafy vine of first-generation SmartGauge™ with EcoGuide represents fuel efficiency in the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the cluster display in Focus Electric uses blue butterflies to represent the surplus range beyond one’s charge point destination – the more butterflies there are, the greater the range.

Ford designers were inspired by the phenomenon known as “the butterfly effect,” in which a small change, like choosing to drive an electric vehicle, can have an enormous impact. To reinforce the message, at the end of each trip a display screen provides distance driven, miles gained through regenerative braking, energy consumed and a comparative gasoline savings achieved by driving electric.

The cluster is also integrated with the MyFord Touch map-based Navigation System using the vehicle’s center stack 8-inch touch screen. After adding their driving destinations, including their next charge point, into the vehicle’s Navigation System, the vehicle will coach drivers on how to achieve the desired range – or if travel plans need to be adjusted. The on-board Navigation System provides an EcoRoute option based on characteristics of efficient EV driving.

Remote control

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Off-board, Focus Electric owners in North America will be able to maintain constant contact with the car anywhere they have mobile phone access using the Ford-developed MyFord Mobile app.

MyFord Mobile is an app that enables access via a smartphone or web-based interface to:

  • Receive instant vehicle status information
  • Perform key functions remotely
  •  Monitor the car’s state of charge and current range
  • Get alerts when it requires charging or has finished charging
  • Remotely program charge settings and download vehicle data for analysis

The feature also allows the owner to program the vehicle to use electricity from the grid to heat or cool the battery and cabin while plugged in – called preconditioning. For example, during hot summer months, owners can preprogram the car the evening before to be fully charged – and fully cooled to a particular temperature – by a certain time the following morning. Users can also locate the vehicle with GPS, remotely start the vehicle and remotely lock and unlock the car doors.

Working with MapQuest®, MyFord Mobile can communicate charge station and other points of interest to Focus Electric using SYNC’s Traffic, Directions and Information (TDI). Turn-by-turn guidance is provided by the in-car map-based Navigation System. Drivers can also get up-to-date charging station information in their vehicle directly through SYNC TDI simply by connecting to SYNC Services.

Value charging

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The new Focus Electric offers a unique value charging feature, powered by Microsoft, to help owners in the U.S. charge their vehicles at the cheapest utility rates, lowering the cost of ownership.

“Value charging allows our customers to reduce their electricity costs by taking advantage of off-peak or other reduced rates from their utility without a complicated set-up process,” said Ed Pleet, manager, Ford Connected Services Organization. “This is a ‘set it and forget it’ approach for the customer to reduce energy cost.”

The tool is designed to help customers avoid unnecessary expense by providing an optimized charge. In the future, these smart charging habits will help utility companies understand and better manage the demands placed upon the electric grid because of electrified vehicles.

Getting charged up

Focus Electric owners are likely to handle one of the vehicle’s charge cord connectors two or more times each day. That’s why Ford worked with supplier Yazaki to provide an industry-standard five-point plug that is ergonomically comfortable to hold as well as durably and distinctively designed.

The plug handle uses a matte-finished black rubber that allows for a comfortable, non-slip grip. The plug head is shielded with a protective glossy white plastic.

When the cord set connector is plugged into the vehicle’s charge port, which is conveniently located between the driver’s door and front wheel well, it activates a light ring that loops around the port twice in acknowledgement of connectivity. The light ring then illuminates in quadrants as the vehicle charges. Flashing quadrants represent charge in progress and solid-lit quadrants show stages of charge completion. In the unlikely event of a fault, the entire ring will flash. When the entire ring is solidly lit, the vehicle is fully charged.

Batteries included

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Focus Electric will be powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery system engineered by Ford in cooperation with supplier LG Chem. The battery system utilizes heated and cooled liquid to help maximize battery life and fuel-free driving range.

Thermal management of lithium-ion battery systems is critical to the success of pure electric vehicles. Focus Electric uses an advanced active liquid cooling and heating system to precondition and regulate the temperature in its larger, more complex lithium-ion battery system.

The active liquid system heats or chills a coolant before pumping it through the battery cooling system. This loop regulates temperature throughout the system against external conditions. On hot days, chilled liquid absorbs heat from the batteries, dispersing it through a radiator before pumping it through the chiller again. On cold days, heated liquid warms the batteries, gradually bringing the system’s temperature to a level that allows it to efficiently accept charge energy and provide enough discharge power for expected vehicle performance.

“Focus Electric is the culmination of years of research and development,” said Kuzak. “More importantly, it’s the start of an exciting new era for Ford and our customers.”

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (762) posted on 01.5.2012

For sure, they will but it took time. Of course, they also need a permission to the WRC and fia to change the power source of the car.

  (427) posted on 01.2.2012

For some reason, I don’t like the exterior detailing of this focus, and it seems that it is not a Ford vehicle on that. However, it’s a good thing that it has an awesome interior.

  (427) posted on 09.2.2011

Looks very common for me and it seems so boring for me. I just hope that the interior will retrieve the disappointment that I feel because of its exterior.

  (488) posted on 08.25.2011

I am not really impressed with the exterior design of this Focus Electric, they are right that this one looks so simple but I must say that the interior is really impressive for I.

  (477) posted on 08.12.2011

Looks so simple and ordinary but the interior amenities are really great and awesome. I must agree with them that electric cars seems not so reliable nowadays.

  (1) posted on 05.28.2011

I am not sure what this statement (According to Ford it delivers a mile-per-gallon equivalent better than the Chevrolet Volt.) means?

  (474) posted on 03.29.2011

Just like what i have said before, I don’t believe in the concept of electric cars. Because i don’t believe that it can make the car run with full electric for sure, when at the time that it loses it power it will used diesel engine.

  (472) posted on 03.16.2011

I have always wanted to see them do an electric version of the Focus, since I think that the car is well suited for it. Good thing that they actually listened.

  (324) posted on 01.13.2011

Interesting when Ford’s own website calls it a 2012 ’Focus Electric’ and claims a release date in late 2011 before xmas of this year.

  (701) posted on 01.13.2011

I can buy a 24 Kwhr lithium battery pack NOW and it will weigh less than 450lbs A 120hp motor and controller will weigh less than an IC engine and all of its ancillaries Surely Ford is using better technology than I can buy as a hobbyist and a cheap one!

  (570) posted on 01.11.2011

dang, the front grilles looks exactly the same as the Aston martin Vantage. I wonder if they can also use this kind of technolgy on focus wrx and fiesta wrx.

  (101) posted on 01.11.2011

If you look with blurry eyes you can confuse it with the Grande Punto! smiley especially from the front-side!

  (69) posted on 01.11.2011

Yes! this is a Ford Focus! You cannot make mistakes about this one. All of the Focuses have this sharp arrow style that you cannot miss. Even if they look totally different!

  (73) posted on 01.11.2011

More similar to Grande Punto than with the Aston Martin!

  (151) posted on 01.11.2011

It can easily pass from front view as a Aston Martin smiley I’ve seen this on the Fiat Grande Punto, but on this Focus is more obvious, almost like the Aston Martin!

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