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Car Tech Video: The new Ford Focus Electric car
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Car Tech Video: The new Ford Focus Electric car

3:57 /

The new Ford Focus Electric prepares to do head-on battle with the Nissan Leaf

Well here it is, the Ford Focus Electric. The latest Salvo being fired in what is an auto industry war to make electrified cars. Let's take it apart on it's surface before we dig into the specs. It's a standard Focus in terms of the sheet metal, the proportion, all of that. Ford says that's one of their trump cards, is that it's not a weird car like a Leaf. It's name plate and style that folks are used to and is already popular for showrooms. You will find one difference though, they've grafted on these sort of Aston Martin-esque looking grille that we'll also see coming up in the new Fusion later this year. It's a goodlooking front-end. It also has some special wheels on here. Inside, you're gonna find a lot of the materials are made of recycled stuff. Ford has been doing this for a while. Soybean cushions and recycled bottles for the fabric. It's all part of the green message but not critical to making this car sell. What is, is the power train. Now, if there's a secret cause to the Ford Focus Electric, this is the sauce to spent through, the charger. This charging coupler can go to a level 2 charger that has a 6.6 kilowatt capacity. A lot of numbers. Here's what that means. That's a very powerful charger if you will and it matches a component in the Ford Focus Electric that allows it to ram more volts into that battery faster. A short charge of 3 to 4 hours is what they're promising from zero to full capacity of around 75 miles range. Overnight charges are easy. There's plenty of time to charge a car while you sleep. It's those opportunistic ones. You go to the mall, you go see a movie for a couple hours and change. If you can plug in then to an advance charger that uses the advance charger in the car as well coupled with it 6.6 kilowatt level stuff, you're going to get a meaningful charge in 2 or 3 hours. A complete top-up let's say. That's where this becomes more livable, not the overnight story. This specific charger was developed by Leviton. You may know them for some of the light switches in your house. It would be solely installed by Best Buy Geek Squad guys 1,499 includes installation. So just under 1,500 bucks. you can get those same quick-charge benefits from any public charging station that has a level 2 outlet free. This charger is made to get those benefits from your house. It basically connects to the drier circuit. The MyFord mobile app is also part of the economy. Using a database powered by Microsoft, it micromanages your home charging based on local rate schedules and the tariff plan you are enrolled under and that can bring your cost of power they say down as low as a $1.20 for a full 74-mile charge versus2.76 a full charge if you were to kind of indiscriminately plug in and get the national average rate. Ford is also partnering with a company called SunPower to offer a $10,000 photovoltaic panel kit. You put this at your house and they say it can provide up to 12,000 miles of driving charge each year. The system cost 10,000 bucks installed. That same number of miles a year will only cost you between 195 and 450 bucks a year charging off the grid. So you only do this if you're really green or plan to drive your Focus more than 23 years. This car will do battle directly with the Nissan Leaf and indirectly, due to different technology and resulting behavior with the Chevy Volt but the key is that there would soon be 3 major car makers with mainstream EVs in showrooms. Okay. Pricing on this guy. It's gonna make some folks swallow hard. It's a $40,000 Focus but that's before you apply a current $7,500 federal tax incentive. Check with your tax guy about how all that works and then go look for state incentives as well. Most of the states where they're gonna release that thing, and it's not all 50 at once, also have incentives that will bring the price down even further. So you can see this car being perhaps 30 or so and as they mentioned, the Focus Electric is not offered in a stripped edition. It's well equipped throughout. Availability Spring of 2012.

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