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Ford's quiet and clean fully-electric Focus variant ages gracefully into the 2015 model year.
The circular charging port is located on the front fender.
Under the hood (and under this massive engine cover) is the 107 kW electric motor.
The Focus Electric has a transmission with only one speed and a rear end with no tailpipe.
With 184 pound-feet of torque on tap, the Electric feels pretty zippy off of the line.
With a full battery, the driver can expect about 76 miles of silent motoring before stopping to recharge.
In previous tests, we found the Focus felt fatigued when asked to climb steep hills.
Energy is stored in a 23 kWh lithium ion battery pack located under and behind the back seats.
Plug into a 240V charging station and the battery will refill in about 3-4 hours.
The Focus' interior is nearly identical to the gasoline model.
Both digital and analog, the SmartGauge instrument cluster puts a lot of range and driving habit information in front of the driver.
The web-connected MyFord Touch infotainment system allows the driver to schedule and delay the EV's charging to match less expensive, off-peak utility hours.
Low speed city miles are where the electric car operates most efficiently.
Like most EVs that I've tested, the Focus Electric's efficiency drops as you go faster. For best results, keep it at the speed limit.
17-inch wheels shod in low-rolling resistance tires are standard.
The Focus Electric is significantly heavier than the gasoline model, but the torque masks the difference.
Making extensive use of the regenerative braking will not only extend your range, but will also extend the life of the friction brakes.
The small hatchback form factor seems, to me, like an ideal configuration for city dwellers.
The battery pack intrudes into the rear hatchback area, which reduces the amount of room for cargo.
Beneath a false floor, you'll find the fix-a-flat kit and the standard wall-charging cable.
A 110V wall outlet should only be used as a last resort. With this charging cable, filling the battery takes about 20 hours.
The EPA reckons that the Focus Electric costs about $900 less than the gasoline model to operate per year.
The Kinetic design of the Focus looks futuristic, but doesn't scream, "Look at me, I'm an EV!"
The one-size fits all options list means that the Focus Electric isn't available with any advanced driver aid features, such as blind spot monitoring or automatic parking.
A rear view camera is standard and about the extent of the driver aid technology.
Our model featured one of the only options available, a leather seating package.
The transmission features two positions. D is the standard drive mode and L amps up the regenerative braking, which can recapture more energy in hilly areas.
MyFord Touch still uses the "four corners" organization that makes it easy to jump between navigation, audio, and climate controls.
The navigation system is easy to understand and features an EcoRoutes path-finding algorithm that routes trips to maximize the battery's range.
Bluetooth is standard with profiles for audio streaming, hands-free calling, and text message access.
The navigation system uses maps that are stored on an SD card in the center console. Here, you'll also find the USB and AV inputs.
For 2015, the Electric receives a price drop of about $6,000 to better compete with new models from Fiat and Kia.