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A brief look at the new Ford Focus Electric

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock joined Ford engineers, executives and others involved in the EV industry to welcome the new Ford Focus Electric to Denver today and a brief drive revealed both more-than-adequate acceleration plus a quiet, agile and smooth ride from the 110-MPGe vehicle.

“Not being a coastal city, it is huge for Denver dealers to be receiving this car next week,” Mayor Hancock said. He went on to say the advent of the electric car places America on the brink of something as big and life changing as the internet was so many years ago.

Electric cars are just one aspect of Ford’s approach to the modern automotive market was the message Julie Roehner, Ford Vehicle Integration Supervisor for Electrified Products, delivered to the assembled media as she touted the accomplishments the new Ford Focus Electric represents.

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First, with its EPA-certified mileage equivalent of 110-MPGe, it is the world’s most fuel-efficient, five-passenger vehicle, though it may not be the roomiest five-passenger vehicle. Those five people can’t ALL be tall, leggy or obese and still fit.

Next, Ford has managed to produce a range better than the Nissan Leaf in a heavier car, with a smaller battery in the new Ford Focus Electric. It can travel up to 76 miles on a full charge, three miles more than the Leaf.

Third the new Ford Focus Electric can recharge in as little as 4 hours with a 240-volt charging connection or overnight on a standard 110-volt outlet.

The front wheel drive vehicle’s all-electric powertrain and single-speed transmission provide responsive, smooth acceleration and a top speed of 84 mph. It drives a lot like the fuel-powered Focus five-door hatchback that forms its basis – only quieter.

We used the navigator to see how it would compute the range within its turn-by-turn instructions, plugging an address in Colorado Springs into the navigator. It asked if we would be recharging at our destination – we responded in the affirmative – before the navigator revealed it was 69 miles to the designated site and our range was 70 miles.

Roehner explained we would have to drive conservatively in route, though at up to 70-mph, to arrive at the destination within that margin. Given a 15 to 25 mile margin to your destination, it would allow you to drive the car more aggressively as long as you planned to recharge before returning.

The new Ford Focus Electric has a 141 horsepower motor (105kW) and develops 188 lb.-ft. or torque.

It uses a heated and cooled 23 kWh lithium ion battery manufactured by the Piston Automotive Group.


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