A couple of weeks ago, FoMoCo invited me out to NYC to take a quick spin in the new Ford Focus Electric. Having been the third fully-electric car Iíve had the privilege to drive (after the Tesla Roadster and the Nissan LEAF), I was pretty excited to see what the Dearborn automaker had come up with.
Check out more news on the Ford Focus Electric
Now the new Ford Focus itself is quite an impressive compact hatchback. I recently drove one around for a week and was very impressed with the way it composes itself with a solid chassis, tight handling and an accurate steering. Now imagine all that wrapped into an electric-car. How does it fare up to the Nissan LEAF
? Letís take a look.
2012 Ford Focus Electric Specifications
- Style: Hatchback.
- Drive Type: Front-wheel-drive.
- Seating Capacity: 5.
- Base Price: $39,200.
- Powertrain: 100-kilowatt electric-motor making 143-hp and 184 lb-ft of torque.
- Transmission: Single-speed automatic.
- 0 to 60 mph: 10 seconds.
- Top Speed: 84 mph.
- Electric Range: 100 miles.
- Charge Time: 4 hours on 240 volts and 20 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet.
- Curb Weight: 3,624 lbs.
- Fuel-economy (city/highway): 110/99 MPGe.
Looks wise, the new Ford Focus Electric is exactly the same as the standard Focus. Itís sleek, sporty and a bit muscular Ė something you wouldnít expect taking into consideration of how other electric cars look. Take the Nissan LEAF for example Ė it looks boring and awkward. The Focus Electric, on the other hand, doesnít force you to compromise on good looks while being conscious about sustainability.
Compared to the Nissan LEAF, the Focus Electricís interior is much more comfortable for long rides.
On the inside, the Ford Focus Electric carries over the same layout and feel of the gasoline powered Focus. Ford has proven itself with a nicely laid out cabin with soft-touch materials and a quality finish. Standard features include SYNC with MyFord Touch, MyFord Mobile (which allow access via smartphone or Web-based interface to perform key tasks) and the Fordís signature SmartGauge with EcoGuide (which provides instantaneous fuel economy so drivers can adjust driving behavior accordingly). It also comes with AM/FM/CD/MP3 Sony Audio with nine speakers, Sirius Satellite Radio with Travel Link, HD Radio and voice-activated Navigation System. Compared to the Nissan LEAF, the Focus Electricís interior is much more comfortable for long rides (of course, taking into consideration that you can only travel 100 miles on a single charge).
The Ford Focus Electric is by far the best performing mass produced electric car hands down
Now letís move on to how the Focus Electric performs Ė but first Ė letís get the numbers out of the way. Power for the 2012 Ford Focus Electric comes from a 100-kilowatt electric-motor with a 23 kWh battery. Working together the system produces 143-hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Mated to single speed transmission, 0 to 60 mph comes in about 10 seconds with a top speed of 84 mph. EPA rated fuel-economy comes in at 110/99 MPGe and on a full charge, the Focus Electric can travel a total of 100 miles. How about the ride? The Ford Focus Electric is by far the best performing mass produced electric car hands down. It rides like a real car since much of the Focus Electricís steering, handling and braking feel is shared with fuel-powered Focus. Unlike the LEAF, which compromises the Ďreal carí feel for a subpar driving experience, the Focus Electric offers you all the efficiency of an electric-car in a regular Focus.
As far as charging goes, the 2012 Ford Focus Electric can be charged in 3 to 4 hours when using a 240-volt charging station. On a standard 120-volt outlet, reaching 100% percent charge can take up 20 hours.
So does Ford have a winner here? We definitely think so. The Focus Electric is scheduled to be available nationwide by the end of 2012 with prices starting at $39,200.