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USA: Ford Focus goes green

World debut wows crowds in Motor City. Bosses confirm electric and plug-in hybrid versions on way
Auto Express Car ReviewsBy Dan Strong15th January 2010As well as being the most technically advanced family hatchback ever launched, Ford’s new Focus also promises to be the greenest!

Speaking at the Detroit Motor Show – where the new Focus made its public debut – company chairman Bill Ford announced both electric and plug-in hybrid versions of the car would be built in the US. The EV will be available in only 18 months, with the plug-in hybrid going on sale in 2012. Although details are yet to be confirmed, a Ford source has told Auto Express that the EV edition, which will initially only be available in left-hand drive, is to share much of its technology with the recent Magna-engined BEV prototype.

With a 23kWh lithium-ion battery, it will deliver 134bhp and offer a range of around 75 miles. A full charge will take six hours from a household plug, and half that time from a 400-volt industrial supply. Meanwhile, the plug-in hybrid will use the same lithium-ion battery technology and incorporate a conventional hybrid powertrain, similar to that fitted to Toyota’s Prius, rather than the range-extending EV technology offered by Vauxhall’s Ampera.

Speculation suggests that this car could reach the UK late in 2012. The technology has already been fitted to the US-only Escape 4×4, which returns around 120mpg with fully charged batteries. Cells are topped up by braking and freewheeling, or can be recharged with a standard household plug.

The Focus, which is lighter, smaller and more aerodynamic than the Escape, should better this figure with fuel economy of more than 130mpg.

Ford’s all-new Focus range goes on sale in the UK later this year, with the introduction of the Grand C-MAX.

It will be joined in January 2011 by the five-door hatchback model, also revealed at Detroit.


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