On January 7, Ford Motor Company unveiled its new Focus Electric, Ford’s first all-electric passenger car, at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The zero-tailpipe emissions, gasoline-free Focus Electric represents the first of five hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles Ford is scheduled to release in North America and Europe by 2013. The Focus Electric is expected to launch in late 2011.
“Focus Electric is the flagship of our new family of electrified vehicles, showing 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 power train 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 consumers think about energy usage and their transportation needs.”
Focus Electric will have a driving range similar to other battery electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Honda Fit. According to information from Ford, the company has designed the Focus Electric with technology that can fully recharge the battery in three to four hours at home with a 240-volt charge station.
“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 iseasy,” 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.”
Included with the Focus Electric is a suite of driver information systemson board and off boarddesigned to help drivers manage the recharge process, find eco-friendly routes, monitor battery state of charge and maximize energy efficiency to optimize driving range. Among these tools is the new MyFord Touch driver connect technology that will provide vehicle information like battery state of charge, distance to charge point, the corresponding driving range budget and the expected driving range margin. This technology also allows drivers to monitor the electricity demands of onboard accessories such as air conditioning, which can impact driving range.
Remotely, drivers will be able to access the Focus Electric’s information systems from their smart phones, where they will be able to monitor and adjust charge schedules, precondition the interior temperature using energy from the grid while plugged in, locate the vehicle with GPS, remotely start and stop the vehicle and remotely lock and unlock the doors.
Another feature designed to save drivers money and improve their experience is a value charging feature powered by Microsoft. This feature helps drivers in the U.S. to charge their vehicles at the cheapest utility rates by taking advantage of off-peak or other reduced rates from their utility.
“Focus Electric is the culmination of years of research and development,” said Kuzak. “More importantly, it is the start of an exciting new era for Ford and our customers.”