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.

USA: Morris residents take electric cars for spin

FLORHAM PARK — Slipping behind the wheel for a test drive, Gino Abbate III of Morristown wondered how the 2012 Ford Focus Electric would handle.

Available since May, the strictly battery-powered, zero-emission car uses no gas, oil or even transmission fluid.

About eight minutes later, Abbate returned pleasantly surprised.

“You didn’t miss the feeling and power of a gas engine,” he said. “It was all there.”

But there was one sticking point for the Fairleigh Dickinson University MBA graduate student: the approximate 76-mile maximum driving distance before the next battery-charging session would be necessary.

“I like to go on weekend trips, so I would definitely have to have a second gas car,” he explained.

FDU’s Florham Park campus, in conjunction with the New Jersey Green Association, played host last week to Ford Motor Co.’s “Go Further Tour” — a traveling campaign through which the giant automaker hopes to acquaint drivers with its electric and hybrid vehicles.

The Focus Electric carries a sticker price of $39,200, offset somewhat by a $7,500 federal tax rebate for purchasing a no-emission vehicle and various state tax incentives.

An additional $1,500 buys the recommended Leviton 240-volt “home charging station,” a unit resembling a cross between a bathroom scale and wireless router that plugs into a conventional wall outlet.

The option is essential if drivers want to fully charge the car’s lithium-ion battery within four hours, as opposed to needing upward of 20 hours with the 120-volt recharging cord that comes as standard equipment, said Ahmed Shah, one of Ford’s product specialists.

Consumers can expect to pay between $4 and $5 per charge on their home electric bills, Shah said.

There was a touch of gleeful irony in the charging station display, in which the Leviton charger and its wrap-around, 18-foot cable were mounted to a cutout shaped like a dreaded gas pump — the very device Focus Electric drivers will never need.


Leave a Reply