A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Ford Focus Electric hands-on: The EV that drives like a real car, 75 miles at a time

The Ford Focus Electric is a fascinating electric vehicle because it looks and drives like an ordinary Ford Focus. Its competitors are unique designs that trade on hey-look-at-me styling. They include the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle that is the Focus EV’s nearest competitor, the Toyota Prius hybrid, and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. The Focus Electric is a great compact car with three exceptions: It’s only good for 75-80 miles at a time, the battery monopolizes the trunk, and it costs just under $40,000. Such is life on the bleeding edge.

Ford built the Focus EV from the platform of the new, third-generation Focus that has been shipping in the US for a year. It’s one of the highest-rated compacts in the eyes of car buff and consumer magazines. Out went the gasoline engine in front, replaced by a 141-hp electric motor. Out went week-long-vacation luggage capacity in back, in went a 650-pound, 23-kWh lithium battery plus pack-light luggage capacity (tennis racquets yes, his-and-her golf bags no). The Focus EV is good for 76 miles, Ford says.

I drove a production level Focus Electric at Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan proving grounds. Acceleration is zippy at low speeds (electric motors produce their most power at startup) but getting to 60 mph is leisurely stroll of more than 10 seconds, and the track’s straightaways weren’t long enough to verify the top speed of around 85 mph. Around the course’s undulating curved sections, the Focus Electric did a good job tracking; the driver felt in control. Lifting off the throttle, there’s none of the anchor-thrown slowdown of EVs such as the Mini Electric that improves battery regeneration yet is disconcerting to drivers who expect a car to coast. There are Focus EV-specific driver aids in the center stack and instrument panel LCDs. Some are useful such as the braking coach that maximizes regeneration and others you may never get used to, such as butterflies that appear for the greener-than-thou, light-footed driver. The rest of the cockpit is standard Focus, including Ford Sync and MyFord Touch.


2 comments to Ford Focus Electric hands-on: The EV that drives like a real car, 75 miles at a time

Leave a Reply