Faster Charging a Major Advantage for Ford EV

Focus_EV_solar_JW

Ford's biggest selling point for its 2012 Focus Electric ($39,600) is that it charges twice as fast as other electric vehicles when using a Level 2 240-volt supply. Having tested a Focus Electric for a couple of days, I can confirm that the claim is both true and a compelling advantage indeed.

In the simplest terms, a depleted Focus battery can be fully recharged in about four hours compared with about eight hours for a Nissan Leaf. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which I recently reviewed, uses a smaller battery and takes closer to seven hours. But it's not just about full charges; it's about how many miles you can drive in a given day, and some other less obvious advantages.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | May 21, 2012 | Comments (18)

Slow Sales for Ford's Electric Focus

2012 Ford Focus Electric

It might not be readily apparent, but there is a fifth major electric car offering currently on sale in select markets. The 2012 Ford Focus Electric has been on sale since December 2011, but the carmaker has only managed to sell a couple dozen of the EVs, according to The Detroit Free Press.

The Focus EV is still in the midst of a "quiet rollout," according to the Detroit paper. The model is currently available in California, New York and New Jersey for $39,200, excluding a $795 destination fee. Another 15 markets will be getting the EV early next year. According to a Ford survey from last year, nearly 61% of car shoppers would be interested in a hybrid or electric vehicle, but only if gas reached $5 a gallon, The Detroit Free Press reports.

Ford quietly rolls out Focus Electric (The Detroit Free Press)

By Colin Bird | April 18, 2012 | Comments (5)

California Sets Up $2,500 Tax Rebate for 2012 Ford Focus Electric

Electricfocus

California has announced that buyers of the 2012 Ford Focus Electric will get a $2,500 tax rebate and will be able to ride solo in the state's high-occupancy vehicles lanes.

California's $2,500 rebate can be combined with the $7,500 federal tax credit, shaving $10,000 off the Ford Focus Electric's $39,200 sticker price — if you qualify for all the credits, of course. Keep in mind that a tax credit only offsets taxes you owe. Focus Electric buyers will get the full California rebate, however, regardless of your taxes.

The Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt also qualify for California tax rebates of $2,500 and $1,500, respectively, and they have access to HOV lanes, too.

By Colin Bird | March 13, 2012 | Comments (0)

PickupTrucks.com Tests the 2012 Ford Transit Connect Electric

2012 ford transit connect electric

Ford plans on selling an electric version of its Focus compact car, but the automaker’s first gas-free offering is the Transit Connect Electric. Based on the van that was launched in the U.S. for 2010, the Transit Connect Electric trades the traditional version’s 136-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine for a 74-hp electric motor and a 28-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. But are more robust acceleration and a smaller carbon footprint enough to justify the 2012 Transit Connect Electric’s $35,000 price premium over the base version? According to Cars.com Editor Mike Hanley, Transit Connect Electric’s high cost will be a significant hurdle to its success.

2012 Ford Transit Connect Electric Review

By Jennifer Geiger | January 3, 2012 | Comments (1)

Ford Says 2012 Focus Electric to Beat 100 MPG Equivalent

2012 Ford Focus Electric

Ford officials say the 2012 Focus Electric will achieve more than a 100 mpg-equivalent. That would make it the highest mpg equivalent for a five-passenger vehicle. The $39,200 Focus EV goes on sale in select markets by year's end with a full rollout next year. Like other electric cars, it's eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500.

The EPA's "MPGe" rating, adopted for electric vehicles, assumes 33.7 kilowatt-hours per gallon of gas. Of course, your costs will vary based on your local electric rates, but all things being equal, the Focus Electric should squeeze out more savings than the 2012 Nissan Leaf (99 MPGe) or 2012 Chevrolet Volt (94 MPGe within the EV range). The EPA rates the Mitsubishi i at 112 MPGe, but it only seats four.

On a 240-volt charger — known as a Level 2 charger — the Focus EV can recharge in up to four hours. That's about half the time it takes a Leaf, and both travel about 75 miles on battery power. The Volt charges in about four hours on a Level 2 charger, but it runs only about 35 miles before its gas generator kicks in. The Mitsubishi i takes around seven hours to fully charge, with an estimated range of 62 miles. Honda reckons its 2013 Fit EV, meanwhile, will go an EPA-rated 76 miles and charge in as little as three hours on a Level 2 charger. The EPA has yet to rate the car's mpg equivalent, however.

By Kelsey Mays | December 15, 2011 | Comments (3)

2012 Ford Electric Priced at $39,200

2012 Ford ElectricStarting today, Ford will take orders for the 2012 Focus Electric, which has been priced at $39,200, excluding a $795 destination fee. A limited number of the electric compact cars will be available before the end of the year in California, New York and New Jersey, with 15 other markets getting the EV early next year.

In contrast, the Nissan Leaf starts at $35,200, and the Mitsubishi i starts at $29,125. Currently, that makes the Ford Focus the most expensive of the mainstream electric cars, but it comes better equipped than the rest. The 2012 Coda EV, which recently went on sale, costs $44,900. All of these electric cars are eligible for a $7,500 tax credit. If you’re eligible for the whole credit, that would translate to a $31,700 asking price for the Focus Electric.

By Colin Bird | November 2, 2011 | Comments (18)

Newest Ford Option: Home Rooftop Solar Charging

Ford Focus EVFord is partnering up with SunPower, a solar panel maker, to give buyers of its new Focus Electric, which is due next year, the option to fill up with renewable power at home.  

The 2.5-kilowatt rooftop solar system is installed at an owner's home and will offset about 1,000 miles of electric driving per month that would otherwise have to come from the grid. If you live in a sunnier state like Arizona or Nevada, you can derive even more energy gains from the solar array.

The 1,000-mile estimate of solar-assisted charging does not directly go into the EV, said Ford spokesman Dan Pierce. The key word here is “offset.” Because most folks drive their cars during the day, the aim is to offset the potential “dirty” energy you’re using to charge your EV at night by piping clean solar energy into the grid during the day. Theoretically, if you drive less than 1,000 miles a month the added energy will lead to lower utility bills. 

If you’re interested in purchasing a Ford EV, a dealer will ask if you want to set up the solar array during the buying process. The system will cost an estimated $10,000 or more, which includes installation and federal tax credits.

The system doesn’t include any sort of fast-charging unit. You can purchase a 240-volt charging unit for the Focus EV or the C-Max Energi. It’s estimated to cost less than $1,499 and includes installation by Best Buy’s Geek Squad.

By Colin Bird | August 11, 2011 | Comments (2)

EV Startups Fail to Deliver on Promises

Fisker Karma

In 2007, the automotive industry was on the brink of a revolution. Large, established car companies were reeling from the gas price spike and, for the first time in decades, small startup automakers emerged, this time to build electric cars.

Some three years later, the major automakers have delivered on their promised electric vehicles, but most of the new automakers have run into trouble.

The Wheego — a Chinese-sourced, California-assembled electric car that can go 100 miles on a charge — has been delayed, according to AllCarsElectric.com. The Wheego LiFe was supposed to go on sale (with a starting price $32,995) in December, but it's held up because it's awaiting final approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The automaker already has 500 orders and 32 dealerships lined up, but if there are more delays, will the interest in this EV remain?

By Colin Bird | January 21, 2011 | Comments (0)

2012 Ford Focus Electric Vehicle at 2011 Detroit Auto Show

Electricfocus

  • Competes with: Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt
  • Looks like: Ford collaborated with Aston Martin on the Focus’ grille
  • Drivetrain: Electric motor with undisclosed power ratings and transmission
  • Hits dealerships: Late 2011

Everyone knew this day was coming, but it’s finally here. This is Ford’s answer to the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. However, Ford has gone a different route, putting its new electric powertrain in a current gasoline model. And we all know how well this concept went for those trying to battle the Toyota Prius with hybrid versions of existing cars. Ford announced the vehicle today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but it will also be on display at the Detroit auto show next week.  

At a Detroit-area media briefing last month, Ford made some bold claims regarding its new Focus EV, which is set to go on sale late this year. Ford says the car can get a full charge on a 240-volt outlet in three to four hours, compared with the eight hours it takes to charge the Leaf with a 240-volt outlet.

Though pricing is still pending, the Focus EV will be eligible for the same $7,500 federal tax credit as the Leaf, and it will achieve a higher mpg-equivalent score from the EPA than the Volt. Total range is pending, but early indications are the Focus EV will go about as far as the Leaf. Ford’s modular 240-volt charging station can be removed from your home if you move, and the automaker reckons it will save Focus EV buyers $500 to $700 compared with the 240-volt stations offered by Nissan and GM.

In short: Ford’s gauntlet has landed.

By Kelsey Mays | January 7, 2011 | Comments (17)

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