Ford Motor Company has unveiled the Focus Electric — the automaker’s first all-electric passenger car. The zero-CO2-emissions, gasoline-free version of Ford’s popular small car is the flagship of the company’s growing fleet of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles coming to North America and Europe by 2013.

The Focus Electric will launch in late 2011 and offer a mile-per-gallon equivalent better than Chevrolet Volt and competitive with other battery electric vehicles, according to Ford.

A full recharge is expected to take three to four hours at home with the 240-volt charge station — half the charge time of the Nissan Leaf. Ford will be partnering with Best Buy and the Geek Squad for installation and servicing of a two-part charging unit with a wall bracket easily removed for replacement and service. The charging unit will be price at $499 through Best Buy and will be the least expensive charger on the market.

Ford did not detail the full-charge range of the Focus Electric, but industry experts expect a 100-mile threshold. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price was also not announced.

Ford will also introduce new features and technologies via the Focus Electric. They include a MyFord Touch driver connect system especially for electric vehicles, a new value charging feature powered by Microsoft and a smartphone application called MyFord Mobile that helps plug-in owners control their vehicles remotely.

The five-door Focus Electric hatchback leverages Ford’s global C-car platform shared by the gasoline and diesel-powered Focus models. They debuted at the 2010 North American International Auto Show and were launched at the Paris Motor Show in September.

Both Focus gasoline and electric variants to be sold in North America will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., with production powered in part by one of the largest solar energy generator systems in the state.

For European markets, a decision on where the Focus Electric will be built is currently being finalized.

Focus Electric is one of five new electrified vehicles included in Ford’s electrification strategy. Initial deliveries of Transit Connect Electric began in North America at the end of last year and the vehicle will be launched in Europe later in 2011.

Not only is the Focus Electric designed to provide outstanding energy efficiency and reliable operation, it also delivers real driving enjoyment. The all-electric powertrain and single-speed transmission provide immediate responsiveness and smooth acceleration and a top speed of 84 mph.

Much of Focus Electric’s steering, handling and braking feel is shared with the agile, sporty, fuel-powered Focus models upon which it’s based, making Focus Electric a dynamic driver’s car. At the same time, the absence of a gasoline or diesel engine and outstanding aerodynamics lead to a remarkably quiet, comfortable in-car experience.

Focus Electric offers a host of standard safety and security features, including six airbags and electronic traction control, along with hands-free SYNC® telephone connectivity and MyKey® for North America. Extensive eco-friendly materials, such as bio-foam seat cushions and recycled fabrics also are featured in the vehicle.

Other standard features on Ford Focus Electric for North American customers include a unique execution of MyFord Touch driver connect technology, 15-spoke 17-inch aluminum wheels, a 60/40 split rear bench seat, push button start, AM/FM/CD/MP3 Sony® Audio with nine speakers, Sirius® Satellite Radio with Travel Link, HD Radio™ and voice-activated Navigation System.

Future owners of the Focus Electric will likely recharge the car’s advanced, Ford-engineered lithium-ion battery pack at home on a daily basis, using the recommended 240-volt wall-mounted charge station that will be sold separately or the 120-volt convenience cord that comes with the vehicle.

The Focus Electric will be powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery system engineered by Ford in cooperation with supplier LG Chem. The battery system utilizes heated and cooled liquid to help maximize battery life and fuel-free driving range.

Thermal management of lithium-ion battery systems is critical to the success of pure electric vehicles. Focus Electric uses an advanced active liquid cooling and heating system to precondition and regulate the temperature in its larger, more complex lithium-ion battery system.

For more information, visit: www.ford.com.

Source: Ford Motor Company

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