Ford’s plans for an electric version of its Focus compact are not aimed at buzz and sizzle. Instead, the company is focused on addressing the biggest obstacle between EVs and the mainstream: cost.
The Ford Focus Electric will be based on the next-generation Ford Focus, a capable if not head-turning car. By choosing an existing platform—not only for its pure electric cars, but also for its hybrids—Ford will save the expense associated with developing a unique design. Ford is gambling that the cool factor lies in the technology and price, not in the car’s name or the shape of the sheet metal. It’s hard to know if the strategy makes sense until pricing is announced—but trimming the cost should give Ford the ability to aim for affordability and long-term profitability.
The Focus Electric is targeted to have a range of 100 miles between charges, courtesy of a 23 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The car will use a single-speed transmission. The power train, including the motor and gearbox, are packaged under the hood where you would expect to see a gasoline engine.
The Ford Focus Electric is due in 2011. In the meanwhile—timed for late 2011—the company will offer to fleet and a few individual buyers an all-electric version of its popular small delivery truck, the Transit Connect. That vehicle, ideally suited for use by small companies, will use a 55 kW electric drivetrain system and a 600-pound, 28 kWh lithium ion battery pack. The vehicle has a 75 mph top speed and can drive up to 80 miles on a charge—perfectly fine for the needs of a local delivery cycle.
Model: Focus Electric
Web site: www.thefordstory.com/green/
No. of passengers: 5
Battery size: 23 kWh
Range: 100 miles
Max. speed: 85 mph
MSRP: Approx. $30,000