Re: Rapid Charging
The charging speeds are an issue of difference. However, I actually think the Focus Electric has the advantage here, just follow me here...
With a Level 2 charger (240 Volts), like most people will install in their garage when they get one of these vehicles, the Focus Electric will charge up in about 1/2 the time of the Leaf because the Focus will charge at about twice the amps. Here's the key, this will work like this with any Level 2 charger installed properly (whether in your garage, the Ford dealership, the Nissan dealership or some Level 2 charger in public). The car's control the charge rate, not the charger.
This also means if you are out and have a long lunch (1hour and a half) you can fill your Focus Electric almost 1/2 up. With the Leaf you're looking at 3 hours to do that with the same Level 2 charger.
I'm guessing that we won't see many Level 3 chargers for a long time. The Level 3 chargers that the Leaf can quick charge with are extremely expensive (they use 440 Volts DC if my memory is correct - which translates into special power installation backing it, i.e. large installation costs) and at this point only the Leaf has the Level 3 port. So what business is going to be buying those instead of just getting Level 2 chargers that are much cheaper and will work with everything (Volt, Leaf, Focus etc.)? Nissan dealerships don't have Level 3 chargers.
The other downside with the Level 3 chargers is that Nissan has said it negatively impacts the battery life of your Leaf each time you use one.
I actually have a reservation on a Leaf and if I get one I'd definitely get the Level 3 quick charge port (for emergencies), but I wouldn't plan on being able to use it much since the chargers don't exist, will probably few and far between when they do exist (because they'll be so bloody expensive) and negatively impact the battery life of the Leaf when you do use it.
In my view the Level 2 charge rate that the Focus Electric offers is a significant advantage over the Leaf because you can use that faster charge rate at any Level 2 charger and those are going to be the chargers that are available everywhere (because they will work with everything and they are much cheaper to buy / install). And you'll use that all the time, including out in public if you get beyond your range window somehow.
Advantage Focus Electric in my view.
Just my $0.02.