Ford’s all-new Focus Electric is now officially America’s 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 Electric’s 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 America’s most fuel-efficient gas- and hybrid-powered midsize sedans — to help create one of the industry’s most fuel-efficient car lineups. The Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is projected to become the world’s 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 habits. 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.
Unlike competitors that have designed electric and hybrid vehicles from scratch, Focus Electric benefits from being based on the fuel version of Ford’s global C-segment car.
“Focus Electric shares many of the same premium components and features as its gasoline-powered counterpart while delivering distinct efficiencies and a uniquely exciting driving experience,” said Kuehn.
In addition to boosting quality, Ford’s strategic decision to electrify vehicle platforms — instead of creating one-off vehicles — allows the company to offer customers more choices as part of its fuel-efficient product lineup.
Focus Electric features an advanced charging system that allows the car’s 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 car’s 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 Ford’s Rear View Camera System, MyKey, rain-sensing windshield wipers and Reverse Sensing System.
Many of the technologies in Focus Electric are shared across Ford’s 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 vehicle’s 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 driver’s 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 Ford’s 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.
Source: WWJ – 950