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USA: Ford Focus Electric Extended One Week Test Drive

I have just completed spending one week with the brand new Ford Focus Electric car. The vehicle is just now arriving to waiting owners this month, with only a handful at this point delivered.

The vehicle marks Ford’s first entry into the retail plugin market and it is a pure electric car. Unlike other automakers, Ford has not made the Focus electric as a standalone car. It is instead an optional drivetrain for the Focus which is also available as a gas version.

2013 Ford Focus Electric
The car possesses a 23 kwh thermally managed battery pack and Ford claims a 76 mile real world expected driving range. It is priced full of technological features at $39,995 before a $7500 federal tax credit.

I have driven several electric cars and hybrids, and personally have been driving a Chevy Volt for the last year and a half as my daily car. I used the Focus for all my real world needs for a full week, including shopping with my family of five.

Design

The Focus has a very nice design. It is a medium sized hatchback with European flair. It is low to the ground with large-looking tires and wheels, is wide stanced and taut. It has a graceful and aggressive aesthetic and doesn’t have a dorky green-car look. Though low to the ground I found it never scrapes in locations where my Volt front wind-foil always does. The grill is interesting and futuristic. There is ample visibility both front and rear.

The side mirrors have a smaller wider-view mini mirror embedded to provide two views simultaneously, and there is a rear view camera.

Ford has chosen to keep the design the same across the Focus lineup such that the gas and electric versions only differ in drivetrain rather than giving the EV a specific look. Ford is doing that with other cars too like the Fusion and C-MAX.

Braking Acceleration and Handling

I would say I found the car quick, light, and nimble. Even though the heavy pack keeps the car stuck well to the road it doesn’t make the car feel especially heavy, something other EVs tend to do.

It is more or less a normal driving car but the electric motor is butter smooth and whisper quiet. I mean really quiet. It is the quietest EV I have ever driven.

It is also quite quick and has ample passing power on the highway. I found the 0 to 30 to be 3.9 seconds and the 0 to 60 at 8.9.

The brakes are strong and a bit grabby but never became uncertain in my week of driving. Regenerative drag was absent in the D position and just minimal in the L position.
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