The battery-powered Ford Focus has been something of a dark horse in the burgeoning electric-vehicle market. It arrived on the scene in 2012 ahead of the Volkswagen eGolf and Kia Soul EV, but its low-key styling seems to have ensured that it’s stayed out of the alt-fuel spotlight. Even Ford’s hybrids and plug-in hybrids have maintained a higher profile. It’s like Ford just isn’t interested in the car.

The Focus Electric is a solid performer, though, and Ford seems intent on keeping up with the competition. Like the eGolf, it’s notable for maintaining the same entertaining performance and handling as the gasoline-powered version. This and other mainstream electric vehicles are notable because they’re the leading edge of a wave of evolution that’s normalizing electric cars. In the next few years, battery-powered cars are likely to be as casually owned and driven as hybrids are today. Cars like the relatively mundane Focus Electric, which receives a wider range of standard features and new colors for 2016, are making gasoline-free motoring more accessible.

The electric Focus received a price cut in 2014, and gets another for 2016, making it one of the most affordable mainstream electric cars. Whether it’s well-loved by its manufacturer or not, it is a player in the electric-car game.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Ford Focus Electric.


2016 Ford Focus Electric High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Ford Focus Electric High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Ford Focus Electric High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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This is not a car for those who want to shout to the world that they’ve bought an electric car. At a glance, the Focus Electric is not immediately distinguishable from the conventional Focus, in spite of having a unique grille and wheels. This means it’s an unassuming, handsome subcompact wearing Ford’s family sheet metal, including an expressive face with narrow headlights and a horizontal-bar grille.

The Focus’ flanks have been smoothed over the years for a more aerodynamic look, but the taillights and greenhouse silhouette remain distinctive. The same goes for the roof spoiler on the tailgate of hatchback models. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard. The most obvious element separating the Focus Electric is the charging port on the left front fender. A blue LED surround lights up the port when it’s in use.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 104.3 Inches
Length 172.9 Inches
Width, excluding mirrors 71.8 Inches
Height 58.2 Inches
Track, front, rear 60.5, 59.6 Inches


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2016 Ford Focus Electric High Resolution Interior
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2016 Ford Focus Electric High Resolution Interior
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Unlike the late-1990s version, the newest Focus is surprisingly upscale on the inside. The electroluminescent dash provides customizable information screens, and the center stack carries the MyFord Touch infotainment system front and center. Again, apart from a battery status monitor instead of a fuel gauge, there’s not much to separate the Focus Electric from a gasoline-powered car. It still seats five passengers, but the battery eats up a noticeable amount of cargo space, despite it being located where the fuel tank normally lives.

The seats are upholstered with Ford’s 100 percent recycled-content Repreve fabric. A backup camera, push-button start, dual-zone climate control, and Sirius satellite radio are standard equipment. The MyFord Mobile app enables the car to be synced with a smartphone so the driver can keep track of charging status, range, and other vehicle data when away. Like other electric cars, it also enables the owner to “pre-charge” the climate control on hot or cold days.

Ford’s SYNC interface is standard, and has been upgraded with new controls. Ford says that the new "SYNC 3" has an improved user interface and design.

Interior Dimensions

Seating capacity Five
First-row headroom 38.3
First-row legroom (maximum) 43.1
First-row shoulder room 55.6
First-row hip room 53.9
Rear headroom 38.0
Rear legroom 33.2
Rear shoulder room 52.6
Rear hip room 52.8
Passenger volume (cu. ft.) 90.0


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The Focus Electric has lost the gasoline engine under the hood, of course, in favor of a permanent-magnet electric motor producing 143 horsepower. A liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack provides power. The motor is powerful enough to offset the added weight of the battery pack so the Focus Electric feels just as eager as the gasoline-powered version. It also has a top speed of 84 mph. Like most electrics, power gets to the road via a single-speed transmission.

The official range is 76 miles between charges. The Focus Electric’s ability to cool and heat the battery helps to keep range consistent regardless of exterior temperature, and the a full battery charge takes about three and a half hours using a dedicated 240-volt charger, or 20 hours with a standard wall outlet. Sadly, the range is a few miles less than some of the competition and it does not offer a quick-charge port for community charging stations.

The four-wheel independent suspension is shared with the standard Focus, but has self-adjusting springs and shocks in the rear to compensate for the added weight of the battery. The Focus’ naturally sporty attitude comes through with this car.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type Permanent magnetic electric traction
Power 143 HP
Torque 184 LB-FT
Top speed 84 mph
Battery cell supplier LG Chem Ltd.
Battery manufacturer Piston Automotive Group
Rechargeable battery system Lithium-ion (23 kilowatt-hours capacity), liquid cooled/heated
Voltage current 240/120 energy source
Charge time 3.6 hours (available 240-volt); 20 hours (standard 120-volt); actual time will vary
EPA-estimated fuel economy 110 MPGe city, 99 MPGe highway, 105 MPGe combined


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The Focus Electric has a five-star safety rating from NHTSA in all major categories including front crash, side crash and rollover. Seven airbags including are standard, as is stability control. The IIHS gives it a “Top Safety Pick” rating.


As far as mainstream battery electric vehicles go, the Focus Electric is relatively inexpensive thanks to price cuts since its introduction. The MSRP of $29,170 undercuts many of its competitors, both electric and range-extended electric. What’s more, tax breaks and rebates can usually be had for buying an alternative fuel vehicle.


Volkswagen e-Golf

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The eGolf makes its mark by being just as fun to drive as the rest of Volkswagen’s enthusiast-friendly range—and the torquey electric motor has surprising acceleration at low speeds. VW’s electric is user-friendly and acts just like an average commuter without compromises.

Read more about Volkswagen e-Golf here.

Kia Soul EV

2015 Kia Soul EV High Resolution Exterior
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Bristling with attitude, the Soul EV is Kia’s first full electric vehicle, and it follows a successful template. Apart from a subtle appearance package it looks just like the funky Soul, and a very user-friendly infotainment system makes electric-car ownership…actually kind of fun.

Read more about Kia Soul EV here.

Nissan Leaf

2016 Nissan Leaf High Resolution Exterior
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The Leaf is the technophile’s entry in the battery-electric field, thanks to styling that’s not shared with the rest of Nissan’s compacts and a futuristic look inside and out. It’s almost surprising that the Leaf drives more or less like a normal car.

Read more about the Nissan Leaf here.


2016 Ford Focus Electric High Resolution Exterior
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If there’s a significant drawback to the Focus Electric, it’s Ford’s seeming indifference to the car. Now entering its fourth year on the market with only minimal changes, the car is a solid performer but is poised to rapidly fall behind in the technology race without an update soon. Its limited range and lack of a quick-charge port are serious demerits in the electric-car community, so the comparatively low sticker price, entertaining performance, and upscale interior materials may not be an effective counterpoint for much longer.

  • Leave it
    • Less range than competitors
    • Falling behind the technology curve
Emmy Jackson
About the author

Press Release

Ford Focus Electric has solid, responsive handling, a well-appointed interior, and stanch, aerodynamic styling. Offered at more than 900 Ford EV Certified dealers throughout North America and Europe, the 2016 Focus Electric is now equipped with standard SYNC® 3 – Ford’s latest communications and entertainment system. SYNC 3 features a new, easy-to-use design and interface.

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In 2015, Focus Electric had an EPA-estimated all-electric driving range of 76 miles on a single charge, and delivered a top speed of up to 84 mph. A full charge can take 3.6 hours with an available 240-volt charge station.

Ford continues to offer many standard and available features for 2016:

Now standard are SYNC, MyKey®, rearview camera, leather-wrapped parking brake handle, door locks with auto lock, rear disc brakes, hill start assist, perimeter alarm and HD Radio™
Two new colors – Shadow Black and Kona Blue
Smart charging can be done via two-amp USB ports
MyFord® Mobile app helps owners control the vehicle remotely

The hatchback leverages Ford’s global C-car platform shared by the gasoline and, outside North America, diesel-powered Focus models. Focus Electric is one of five vehicles included in Ford’s electrification lineup. C-MAX Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid are sold at every Ford dealership. Plug-in vehicles such as Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi are sold through Ford EV Certified dealers.

Focus gasoline and electric models sold in North America are built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan*, with production powered in part by one of the largest solar energy generator systems in the state.

A car with more
Based on the fuel-powered Focus, Focus Electric’s all-electric powertrain and single-speed automatic transmission deliver responsiveness and smooth acceleration, reaching speeds of 84 mph – all while the cabin remains quiet and comfortable.

Focus Electric offers a host of standard safety and security features for 2016 including seven airbags and AdvanceTrac® with Electronic Stability Control, along with voice-activated SYNC 3 telephone connectivity and MyKey for North America. The car features use of eco-conscious materials such as soy, bio-based foam seat cushions and fabric made with recycled content. The REPREVE seat fabric is made from 100 percent recycled content.

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Other standard features on Focus Electric for North America include 15-spoke, 17-inch aluminum wheels, a 60/40 split rear seat, Intelligent Access with push-button start, AM/FM/CD/MP3 Sony® Audio with nine speakers, Sirius® Satellite Radio with Sirius Traffic and Travel Link, HD Radio and voice-activated navigation.

An empowering experience
Focus Electric owners have access to a suite of driver information systems designed to help manage the recharge process, navigate the most eco-conscious route, monitor battery state of charge and maximize energy efficiency to optimize driving range. This carefully engineered set of tools is designed to provide new electric vehicle owners the information they need to enjoy gas-free driving.

Just as the growing leafy vine of SmartGauge® with EcoGuide represents fuel efficiency in other Ford hybrids such as C-MAX Energi and Fusion Hybrid, the cluster display in Focus Electric uses blue butterflies to represent surplus range – the more butterflies there are, the greater the range.

In creating SmartGauge with EcoGuide, Ford designers were inspired by the phenomenon known as “the butterfly effect,” in which a small change – like choosing to drive an electric car – can have an 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 comparative gasoline information achieved by driving electric.

Remote control
Off-board, Focus Electric owners in North America can maintain contact with the car anywhere they have a mobile phone or Internet access using the Ford-developed MyFord Mobile app and website. This will allow owners to:

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

The feature also allows owners to precondition the car. Owners set the car to be heated or cooled to a desired temperature, by a selected time, while the vehicle is charging from the grid. When the driver is ready to go, the cabin awaits at the desired temperature, saving battery energy.

Users can also locate the vehicle with GPS, remotely start the vehicle, and remotely lock and unlock the car doors.

MyFord Mobile can remotely request charging status updates so customers can check existing charge levels and estimated fuel and EV ranges, as well as the amount of charge time necessary for additional distances. The system can remotely lock and unlock doors, start and stop the vehicle, and monitor and schedule charging. Set Go Times, which is a preconditioning function, allows the driver to set a desired interior temperature before departing to help maximize range.** MyFord Mobile allows for trip planning and estimates of CO2 emissions saved by driving in electric mode, as well as for owners to see how their driving behaviors rank with others in the region.

Getting charged up
The 2016 Focus Electric offers a feature to help owners in the United States charge their vehicles at reduced utility rates, lowering the cost of ownership.

The tool is designed to help customers reduce unnecessary expense by providing an optimized charge. In the future, these smart charging habits may help utility companies understand and better manage the demands electrified vehicles place on the electric grid.

Ford worked with supplier Yazaki to provide an industry-standard five-point plug that is not only comfortable to hold and durable, but is also pleasing to the eye. When the connector is plugged into the vehicle’s charge port, it activates an LED 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 solidly lit quadrants show 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.

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Reducing charge time has never been easier with a Ford-recommended 240-volt home charging station. The charging station can provide a full battery charge in as little as 3.6 hours. Both portable and hard-wired stations are available.

SunPower and Ford have also teamed up to offer customers clean, economical solar power at home. Ford electrified vehicle customers may save on monthly energy bills, plus receive a rebate of up to $1,500 for purchasing, or $500 for leasing, a SunPower solar system.

Batteries included
Focus Electric is powered by a lithium-ion battery engineered by Ford in cooperation with suppliers. The system uses 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’s active liquid system heats or chills a coolant before pumping it through the battery cooling system. This 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.

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