RAC Cars News


Ford Focus Goes Electric

By raccars Published

Production has started on Ford's first European zero emission Focus Electric, at the brand's Saarlouis plant in Germany. This will be Ford's first entry into the all electric vehicle market in Europe and is expected to reach UK showrooms by the end of the summer.

Prices have yet to be announced but Ford has confirmed a commitment to competitive pricing in this area, which suggests the Focus Electric will be akin to the Nissan Leaf, at £23,490, which includes the government's £5,000 grant for plug ins. The brand is also likely to be aiming the Focus Electric at fleet buyers, who tend to be keen on eco format vehicles for their tax friendly status and buy in bulk for a quantity discount. As a zero emission vehicle, the Focus Electric is also exempt from the London Congestion charge.

The Focus Electric, in line with the rest of the Focus line up, is part of the One Ford corporate strategy and will use the same production line as the standard vehicle. The Focus Electric has been on sale in the US for over a year, to limited success, being outsold ten times over by Nissan. However, Ford is apparently not discouraged and has no plans for model revision to increase sales. Despite its modest sales volume, the Focus Electric won 2011's 'Green Car Vision Award' at the Washington Auto Show and was officially classified as the most fuel efficient compact car in the US for 2012.

The green car is powered by a lithium ion battery, with a power output equivalent to about 143bhp. A full charge takes about 3-4 hours via a 6.6kw integrated charger, which results in a range of up to 100 miles and an 84mph top speed. A 60 mile range partial charge can be achieved within 2-3 hours. These figures don't quite match up to those of the Nissan Leaf, with a 90mph top speed and a full charge range of 124 miles.

The Focus Electric also comes equipped with a new SmartGauge interface, to calculate and advise on battery status and remaining driving range, along with other infotainment functions, plus 'Brake Coach,' helping drivers to use the car's regenerative braking power to maximum effect.

After starting with the Focus this year, Ford is moving apace with the expansion of its eco friendly range, with the C-Max Energi plug in planned for 2014, followed shortly by a Mondeo Hybrid.

Looking to Buy?
Search for cars