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Those anxiously awaiting for Ford‘s first electric car will be pleased to know the American automaker hopes to have its EV available nationwide by the end of this year.
The Focus Electric will launch in California, New York, and New Jersey first and later this summer we will see it expand to 14 other states including Texas, Washington, and Virginia. According to Ford, there will be four phases of rollout in total with the third phase opening up another nine states including Hawaii, New Mexico, and Ohio. The final phase will bring the new EV to the rest of America to enjoy emissions-free driving.
Only select dealerships will have the Focus Electric on hand initially, as the American automaker requires each dealer to have at least two onsite charging stations as well as highly-specialized training, and one Focus Electric in stock at all times for demonstration purposes.
Priced from $39,200, the Focus Electric packs 143-hp with a 23 kWh lithium-ion battery and is currently America’s most fuel-efficient, five-passenger vehicle with a 110 MPGe rating in the city. Ford also likes to brag that its Focus can be charged in nearly half the time of its competitor, the Nissan Leaf.
“Ford is giving customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy regardless of what type of vehicle or powertrain technology they choose,” said Eric Kuehn, chief nameplate engineer, Focus Electric.
Ford Focus Electric Launch Map
On April 28, the Ford Focus electric will lead the pack as the Richmond 400 NASCAR race pace car — the first all electric car to do so.
NASCAR is clearly a sport where fuel economy isn’t a major concern, so Ford wants to educate the fans on how their EV technology works. ”Ford research shows the majority of Americans would consider buying an electric vehicle but do not yet understand the different technologies,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas.
Ford research shows that 67 percent of Ford race fans are likely to buy a Ford product, so debuting the Focus Electric at the track might help tip the scales in favor of hybrids among people who would be likely to write them off. The automaker can also claim the first hybrid to ever run as pace car at a NASCAR race, leading the pack in 2008.
The Focus electric is rated by the company at 110-mpge city and a 105-mpge combined rating, giving it a six mile-per-gallon equivalent advantage over the Nissan Leaf making it the most efficient all electric vehicle on the market.
Watch the Richmond 400 on April 28 to see the Ford Focus Electric pace car in action.
Powered by a 23kWh-capacity lithium ion battery, the Focus Electric has its battery temperature managed by a liquid-cooling system and is 25 to 30 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter than a standard nickel-metal hydride battery. Ford claims that the Focus Electric can be charged in four hours while connected to a 240-volt source.
The front-wheel drive EV has an electric motor with 141-hp and can get around 110-MPGe in the city and 99-MPGe on the highway. The EPA estimates that the Focus Electric will get up to 76 miles on a single charge, giving it a slight three mile advantage over the Nissan Leaf.
But the technology in the Focus Electric is what has people buzzing. It will come equipped with an updated version of the MyFord Touch instrument cluster that is easily paired to the MyFord Mobile app that is available for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices. Users will be able to remotely view their vehicle’s current battery state, percentage of capacity, and estimated driving range. In addition, the app will allow owners to schedule charging for later or even tell the system to immediately charge. Best yet, there is a fail safe built into the app to inform owners if the car isn’t charging when it’s supposed to be or is unplugged for some strange reason.
Think that’s cool enough? There’s more. The app will lock and unlock the Focus Electric’s doors, start the climate control system, and awards achievements based on how green-friendly the driver drives.
Future owners of the Focus Electric that want a 240-volt charging station in their home will have to shell out an additional $1,499 and can order one through their local Best Buy store.
Ford began production on its Focus Electric back in December 2011 and will begin appearing at dealerships in the first half of 2012 in select states (California, New York, and New Jersey). The American automaker hopes to have it in 19 markets across the U.S. before the end of 2012. The $39,200 MSRP does not include the $795 destination charge.
Google is all about advancing technology in order to improve our world and lifestyle, and it appears that they also support any other company that’s pro-technology.
The massive search engine turned all-things technology firm was given the keys to the first Ford Focus electric vehicle off the assembly line.
It’ll be interesting to see if Google will be going domestic in continuing to develop their autonomous vehicle technology that’s currently taking place on Toyota‘s Prius. There’s probably a better chance that the electric Focus will be making its way as a Google Street View vehicle though, spying on us and taking unsuspecting photos without wasting a drip of gas or polluting our world.
The day that a fleet of self-driving electric vehicles with Google plastered across the side of them doesn’t seem so far off.
It’s sales are but a drop in the bucket for Honda, but the Civic GX, recently renamed the NG, might have a chance to grow its market share thanks to efforts by Clean Energy Fuels Corp. to expand U.S. infrastructure for natural gas vehicles.
The fact is, there is so much natural gas available in the U.S. that it’s actually being sold off as an export. Part of the reason is because currently Americans account for 112,000 or less than 1 percent of the world total of natural gas burning vehicles. Most of those are 18-wheel big rigs or fleet vehicles, but the Civic GX accounts for 13,000 since appearing on the American market 13 years ago.
It isn’t hard to understand why there are so few sold: of the roughly 180,000 gas stations across the U.S., there are roughly 1000 that offer natural gas. That means no road trips, no fooling around with the refuel light and little forgiveness if you happen to run the tank dry.
Despite all that, the compressed natural gas (CNG) Civic won the 2012 Green Car of the Year Award, beating out a host of cars including the Mitsubishi i, Ford Focus Electric and Prius V. It also snagged a guaranteed spot until 2015 in California’s coveted HOV lane sticker club, meaning owners may drive solo and skip through ridiculous Californian highway congestion – something that’s sure to make it a popular choice in SoCal.
The Honda won these accolades despite having comparatively poor milage with 27-mpg city, 38-mpg highway and a 31-mpg average, probably because it costs about 30 percent less to fuel them according to Honda. Natural gas costs about $1 to $2 less per gallon-equivalent.
Truthfully, the Civic has nothing to do with Clean Energy Fuels Corp.’s plans for expansion. They’re more more motivated by the crazy fuel volume transport vehicles consumer every year. Rich Kolodziej, president of the trade association NGV America, broke the numbers down in an interview with the Detroit News. If a driver gets an average of 25 mpg and drives 12,000 miles a year, that driver needs about 480 gallons per year. An average truck driver can travel 120,000 miles in a year getting only six miles-per-gallon needs 20,000 gallons of fuel, or as much as almost 42 normal drivers.
Given that there is a surplus of natural gas in the U.S. and that it’s significantly cheaper, installing that infrastructure makes sense. The special few who drive the Civic GX or NG will likely enjoy the benefit of having access to many more fueling stations.
[Source: Detroit News]
If you “like” electric vehicles, you’ll want to check out Ford‘s new electrified Facebook Fanpage. Dedicated to educate enthusiasts and curious consumers, fans will be able to find and share information about Ford’s electric vehicles.
If you’re already a fan of this page, you’ll know that it’s where Ford first revealed the information about the all-new Focus Electric. Now, you can use the page to discover what electric choices are available and how to make the switch to the electric lifestyle.
If you’re thinking about making the switch to a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicle, the Ford Electrified Vehicle Facebook page is a great tool to use to help you understand the differences between electrified vehicle technologies. The page is also an outlet where fans can interact with Ford, post questions and leave comments about the company’s electric vehicles.
The page offers links to videos and photos of Ford’s electrified vehicles, and provides information about the powertrains in each vehicle. There are areas for discussion between fans, user polls, a place where fans can direct questions to Ford’s electric vehicles team, and a calendar for upcoming events.
“We’re committed to engaging in an ongoing dialogue with our fans in a way that provides value for the time they choose to spend with Ford online,” said Scott Monty, Ford digital and multimedia communications manager. “As we’ve proven with Fiesta Movement and the Explorer reveal on Facebook, it’s important to pay attention to what people are saying, and for us to be able to respond and provide a unique experience for them as well.”
To become a fan of Ford’s Electrified Vehicle, click here.