Ford Motor Company has unveiled its new Focus Electric - the company's first-ever all-electric passenger car.
The zero-CO2-emissions, gasoline-free version of Ford's popular Focus, is the companies first venture into electric vehicles and is positioned as a direct competitor to the Nissan Leaf. The car is to be the flagship of the company's growing fleet of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles which will be coming to North America and Europe by 2013.
Ford's entry into the electric car market is significant for a number of reasons. Not only does it demonstrates that electric technology is becoming serious business, but it also emphasizes the American auto industry's commitment to electric vehicles in the hope of rescuing the industry.
"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."
Ford has announced that the Focus Electric will launch in late 2011. The car will offer a mile-per-gallon equivalent better than Chevrolet Volt and competitive with other battery electric vehicles. It is also expected that a full recharge will take three to four hours at home with the 240-volt charge station -half the charge time of the Nissan Leaf.
The Focus Electric also introduces a whole host of 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.
Electric vehicles are nothing new and hybrid vehicles, such as the Prius, have already proved themselves to be a successful, however, the American automotive industry has been a bit slow in taking on board the technology. So with Ford finally entering the game, it will be interesting to see how electric vehicles take off.