Ford Electric Cars in Louisville Kentucky KY- A Dealer Provides Information and Reviews

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FORD IS SELLING CARS MORESO AROUND THE PLANET THAN TOYOTA.

The Ford brand is closing in on Toyota as the favorite of retail auto buyers, a sign of rising popularity of the Fusion mid-size car and Escape sport-utility vehicle, and of growing dismay with the Japanese manufacturer.
Ford F150 / Ford Expedition / Ford Edge / Ford Explorer / Ford Flex / Ford Transit / Ford SuperDuty / Ford e-Series / Ford Fiesta / Ford Atlas / Ford Focus Electric / Ford Service & Parts / Ford Mustang  

Toyota Motor Corp. namesake brand, a default choice of a generation of car buyers who admired its high quality, lost ground during the past six years amid recalls, natural disasters and stiffer competition.

Its share of the U.S. retail market fell to 13.5 percent last year from 16.3 percent in 2008, according to data provided to Bloomberg by IHS Automotive using Polk vehicle-registration records. Toyota’s 2.8 percentage point loss matched the gain of Ford Motor Co. (F)’s main brand, to a 13.2 percent share, over the same period.

More from Bloomberg.com: U.S. Retail Chains See First Profit Decline Since Recession

Retail registrations are the best measure of the tastes of individual car buyers because they exclude bulk fleet sales to corporate and government customers. Toyota dominated the retail market before the recession, with top sellers such as the Camry sedan and Corolla compact. Those models now face tougher competition as car shoppers favor Ford models including the Fusion, which draws frequent comparisons to an Aston Martin, and a restyled, fuel-efficient Escape. Hyundai Motor Co. and Subaru, the auto unit of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., also gaining ground.

“Before 2010, Toyota’s image was bulletproof, and while it is still strong, it’s not rock solid and as perfect as it was before,” Tom Libby, auto analyst for IHS Automotive, said in an interview. “It now appears their march forward has been slowed.”

More from Bloomberg.com: Dream of U.S. Oil Independence Slams Against Shale Costs

Top ThreeThe leader in total U.S. sales is General Motors Co. (GM), which has four brands including Chevrolet and Cadillac. Ford including its fleet sales and Lincoln brand is No. 2, followed by Toyota, which overtook Ford in sales by company from 2007 to 2009 before falling back to the third position.

Those rankings will hold again when February’s U.S. sales results are announced March 3, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Toyota, GM and Ford may all report declines, while Chrysler Group LLC and Nissan Motor Co. post gains, according to analysts surveyed.

Light-vehicle sales in the U.S. may rise 0.4 percent in February to almost 1.2 million, the average of six analyst estimates. The annualized rate, adjusted for seasonal trends, will probably remain at 15.3 million, the average of 10 analyst estimates, the same as in February 2013.

Toyota’s once-pristine image was tarnished, Libby said, when it recalled more than 10 million vehicles for problems related to unintended acceleration in 2009 and 2010, involving defective floor mats and accelerator pedals. The world’s largest automaker lost sales in 2011 after an earthquake and tsunami rocked Japan and shut down Toyota’s car factories.

Rebound ScenarioToyota’s U.S. retail market share fell to 12.4 percent in 2011, recovered to 13.7 percent in 2012 and declined again last year, the IHS data show.

“A fair number of people — I was among them — thought that after the recall situation and after the tsunami that Toyota would just resume where they were,” Libby said. “Lo and behold, they have not.”

As total U.S. auto sales rose, Toyota has increased sales by more than a half-million vehicles in the last two years. That is more important than its retail market share, said Mike Michels, a Toyota spokesman.

“Share doesn’t pay the bills, sales do — that was and is our focus,” Michels said in an e-mail. “Toyota recovered an enormous amount of volume after the recession and Tsunami/Thailand floods impacted periods.”

Design ChangesToyota will probably maintain its slight retail lead over Ford this year thanks to redesigns of its Corolla, RAV4 small SUV and Highlander SUV, said Jeff Schuster, an analyst with researcher LMC Automotive in Troy, Michigan. The Camry, Toyota’s top seller, will also receive minor design changes late this year, he said.

Used Ford F150 , Used Ford Expedition , Used Ford Edge , Used Ford Explorer , Used Ford Flex , Used Ford Transit , Used Ford SuperDuty Trucks , Used Ford e-Series , Used Ford Fiesta , Used Ford Atlas , Used Ford Focus Electric , Ford Repairs Service & Parts , Used Ford Mustang , Used Ford Cars & Trucks Louisville Kentucky KY.  ”Ford’s going to give them a run for their money over the next couple years, but at this point we don’t see them overtaking Toyota,” Schuster said.

Toyota Chief Executive Officer Akio Toyoda has pushed his designers to create more exciting cars after critics have dismissed the company’s products as “blandmobiles.” At the Detroit auto show in January, Toyota generated buzz and floor traffic with its red FT-1 concept that drew inspiration from the automaker’s Supra sports car.

“We’ve seen some indication that Toyota is going to refocus on design and basically bring sexy back or maybe get it for the first time,” Schuster said.

Swoopy SonataThe looks of Hyundai’s swoopy Sonata sedan, Kia’s angular Optima sedan and Ford’s Fusion have attracted family-car buyers, Schuster said. Korea’s Hyundai and its corporate sibling Kia combined to control 8.2 percent of the U.S. retail market last year, up from 5 percent in 2008, though down from 2012, according to the IHS data.

“Vehicles like the FusionEscape and our hybrids have provided us with a tremendous amount of retail sales and share gain, particularly in the coastal regions in the west and southeast, areas that typically have been dominated by Japanese automakers,” said Erich Merkle, Ford’s sales analyst. The Ford brand’s overall retail sales rose 14 percent in 2013, he said, powered by a 21 percent rise in the west and a 17 percent increase in the southeast.

The closing quality gap among automakers has removed a onetime Toyota advantage, Libby said. The Toyota brand ranked seventh in J.D. Power & Associates’ Initial Quality Study last year, below GM’s GMC truck brand, which ranked second, and its Chevrolet line, which ranked fifth.

“In core car segments, where Toyota really had their strength and still has strength, there’s more legitimate competition,” Libby said.

Chevrolet’s SlideDespite quality gains and praise from critics, GM’s Chevrolet brand also lost ground among individual retail buyers. Chevy’s U.S. retail share fell to 10.7 percent last year, from 11.4 percent in 2008. GM last year introduced a redesigned Silverado pickup truck, its top seller, as well as updating the design of its Malibu family car.

“Chevrolet is pretty disappointing. They’ve had a significant product revival over the last two years and they’ve not been able to gain share,” Libby said.

Since 2008, Chevrolet has exited the minivan and small pickup categories, which cost it retail sales, said Jim Cain, a company spokesman. GM will begin offering a smaller pickup later this year with the Colorado model. The Detroit-based automaker also is putting a greater emphasis on profits, selling fewer cars on deep discount, he said.

Light Years”The quality of our market share is light years ahead of where it was in 2008,” Cain said. “We are much more profitable and the resale of our products has risen sharply thanks to what is now an essentially all-new showroom of vehicles.”

Chrysler, the U.S. automaker owned by Fiat SpA (F), saw its Jeep line of SUVs climb to 3.4 percent from 2.7 percent in 2008, the IHS data show.

The next top brands will find a way to lead in innovation, as Toyota did in the last two decades with the Prius hybrid-electric car and the RAV4 that helped pioneer the car-like SUV category, Libby said.

Segment LeadersHonda Motor Co. (7267), which was second to Toyota in retail share in 2008, has slipped to fourth. It had 10.4 percent of the retail market last year, down from 11.9 percent in 2008, according to the IHS data. Honda also has suffered from lackluster looks, Libby said, as the competition has become more appealing. Like Toyota, it also had to contend with natural disasters in Asia that disrupted production in 2011.

While its retail share slid, Honda said its top-selling models were retail leaders in their segments: the Civic compact, Accord mid-size car, CR-V compact utility and Odyssey minivan. The company doesn’t have a fleet-sales operation and few Honda dealers handle such sales.

“Our focus on retail sales to individual buyers has a direct correlation to the high resale value of Honda products, which is a key factor in the value proposition for our customers,” John Mendel, executive vice president of automobile sales for Honda’s U.S. unit, said in a statement last week.

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Green Cars – Electric-Car Fast-Charging Networks

 

Green Cars – Electric-Car Fast-Charging Networks: SuperCharger

Of the cars on sale today, none were launched before 2010. It’s easy too to forget how at that time, a unified fast-charging standard was far from being agreed upon.

 

Today, there are over 3,500 CHAdeMO fast-chargers worldwide, and the market is finally approaching some kind of standard for topping up your electric car as quickly as possible. Well, for some automakers at least.

Launched in Japan, it’s no surprise that the CHADdeMO standard works with two of the longest-running electric vehicles, Nissan’s Leaf and Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV.

But if you own a Tesla Model S, you’ll already be used to Tesla’s own proprietary Supercharger arrangement, and the countrywide charging stations that come with it.

The opening of a true cross-country route has allowed several owners to drive from coast-to-coast already, and represents a breakthrough in the way electric cars can be used.

Not only are the stations convenient (and the Tesla Model S endowed with a long enough range to make such trips much easier) but they’re also free to use for Model S owners–not something that can always be said of CHAdeMO and its compatible vehicles.

But arguably, CHAdeMO is more important–not least because most electric vehicle drivers aren’t able to use Tesla’s swish Superchargers.

That’s reflected in the numbers. Of the 3,500 global CHAdeMO installations, 554 are located in the United States. By comparison, Tesla’s website currently lists 74 stations active in the U.S.–though more are planned for near-total coverage of the country over the next year or two.

Japan and Europe still dominate with CHAdeMO coverage, however. As of January, reports Charged EVs, there were 1,967 CHAdeMO stations in Japan and over 1,000 in Europe.

Some are sounding the death knell for CHAdeMO in Europe though, since several popular electric cars–the Renault Zoe, Twizy and Kangoo, BMW’s i3, the Smart Electric Drive–don’t use the standard. Nor–unsurprisingly–does the recently-launched Tesla Model S, nor the upcoming Volkswagen e-Up.

Tesla is already rolling out the Supercharger network in Europe–14 stations are currently up and running, and most of Europe’s major corridors should be ‘Supercharged’ by the end of 2014.  Only Ford’s electric cars come close to equalling the charging capabilities of it’s rivals.

For the time being at least, it means we’ll still see several different types of fast-charging available to electric car users.  Toyota offers an electric car and so does Honda.

But the important take-away from this is that fast charging is growing in the U.S. and abroad–and that can only be a good thing for the electric car industry.

Green Cars, Green Car Reviews, Tesla Reviews & Information, Used Honda Electric, Used Toyota Electric, Used Ford Electric Cars, Nissan Electric Cars, Used Chevy Electric Cars,

A car dealer’s guide to the 10 best used vehicles in Louisville, Kentucky

 

A car dealer’s guide to the 10 best used vehicles in Louisville, Kentucky

The first gets people to laugh. The second gets them to think. But it’s my third tip that’s most important for those looking to buy an older used car:

 

• Don’t believe the hype.

Cars from prestige brands (especially European ones) don’t necessarily last longer or work better. In fact, they now represent many of the most costly and least reliable vehicles in the used-car marketplace. The exact opposite is true for certain unpopular brands and models. Defunct automakers such as Saturn, Saab, and Pontiac have certain specific models that can equal — or exceed — the quality of the so-called market leaders.

 Consumers often agonize about what vehicle should be their next car. When it comes to older used cars in particular, I have always offered buyers three ironclad pieces of advice:

• Your footwear is going to have a greater impact on your life than the car you drive.

• The driving and maintenance habits of the prior owner will have a far greater effect on a used car’s longevity than the brand. So whatever you choose, make sure you have it inspected before you buy.

Last week, I talked about a study my partners and I used to find the vehicles that came up defective or broken most often at used vehicle auctions. That same data also reveals the most durable cars and trucks over several years, and with results that defy popular wisdom.

To give you a grasp of how divergent our findings have become versus the usual stereotypes, the Chevrolet Cavalier, a car not generally associated with quality, has registered more trade-ins with over 180,000 miles, and fewer defect issues, than the entire Volkswagen line-up. Other models that are no longer sold as new cars, such as the Buick Park Avenue and Saturn L200, are apparently capable of matching the overall quality of their classes’ top-tier vehicles for thousands of dollars less.

There are plenty of good used vehicles out there that are capable of offering the highest levels of long-term quality and owner satisfaction. However, since manufacturers often sell multiple vehicles over the same platform, to increase reliability and lower cost, for this study we have decided to broaden the field a bit and highlight the ten most successful platforms. This way those less popular models in our study don’t get overlooked.

1. Lexus LX470/Toyota Land Cruiser

These vehicles are the automotive version of granite. They are heavy as hell, don’t age and will most assuredly squash whatever vehicular bugs and cockroaches are on the road should the Zombie Apocalypse ever take place. The Land Cruiser and LX470 are the best on our list.

2. Ford E-Series

While GM only offered a mild redesign of their full-sized vans back in 1995, and Dodge left the segment entirely, Ford decided to double down by improving the vehicle’s interior design several times over, and then sticking with three engines that Ford has collectively put into over 10 million vehicles (the 4.6-liter V-8, the Trition 5.4-liter V-8, and the 6.8-liter V-10).

The end result is the best-selling full-sized van in today’s market, and one whose durability has been earned the hard way. A true workhorse that is kept instead of curbed.  And to keep the momentum going Ford has introduced the Transit connect – a 21st century look and design for today’s global business environment transportation needs.

3. Lexus LS

The LS400, LS430 and LS460 are among the only ultra high-end luxury models that buck the trend of having dubious reliability and maintenance issues upon trade-in. No luxury car in our study, on average, is driven longer with more miles on the odometer, and fewer defects, than the Lexus LS series.

4. Chevy/GMC full-sized trucks and SUV’s

Toyota and Lexus finished first and second in the Manufacturer Quality Index Rating. But guess who finished third? GMC.

With GMC only selling trucks and SUVs, all of which are also sold by Chevrolet, the two have combined to offer outstanding quality and durability that few others can match, which is one of the main reasons why GM trucks have remained so dominant. Suburbans, Chevy Silverado, Tahoes, Yukons and a long list of other makes and models are all part of the GMT platform which has remained at the forefront of vehicle longevity.

5. Ford full-sized trucks (V-8 and V-10 models)While Dodge remains a distant third, and Toyota and Nissan have barely made a dent in the full-size truck business, Ford has become Chevy’s equal in the segment, and in certain cases, now the superior choice. The now defunct Ford Excursion holds the title as the third most reliable full-sized SUV in our study (the Land Cruiser and LX are first and second). Meanwhile  the Ford F-Series is based on the P-platform which regularly yields that V-8, rear-wheel drive, body-on-frame combination that has made the F-150 the best selling vehicle in America for 32 years running.

6. Toyota Camry / Lexus ES / Toyota Avalon

We found in our year-long study that the Honda Accord has experienced a rash of transmission issues with V-6 models, and the Nissan Altima had severe oil consumption issues with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The Toyota Camry is the only midsized vehicle to remain consistently well above average for the last twenty years (click the charthere.) The mid-’90s to mid-2000s Lexus ES and Toyota Avalons are based on the Camry XV platform which laid the foundation for other standouts from this era, including the Toyota Solara and Sienna. The Avalon is the second-highest ranked car in our study.

7. Toyota 4Runner / Lexus GX470

We should mention that there have been two major platforms for older 4Runners. The older 4Runner was based on the Toyota truck and then later, an overseas model known as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. In 2003, Toyota decided to offer the North American only 4Runner with it’s very own platform and added a Lexus variant. Both 4Runners are a cut above in terms of long-term reliability. The 4Runner and GX470 are ranked 5th and 8th respectfully while the older Toyota truck rounds off the top ten.

8. Honda S2000

Only 65,000 S2000s were built over a ten year period, and yet they remain neck-and-neck with the Mazda MX-5 Miata as the most popular roadster of the past decade. The S2000 has the distinct honor of being among the few on our list that are exceptionally reliable and fun to drive.

9. Toyota Prius

While the S2000 has served as a fun car for the enthusiast, the Prius has become the car of choice for planet-lovers and hipsters. Fewer than 4 percent of Prii that are traded-in exhibit any type of serious mechanical issue, and that includes problems with the hybrid battery.
While the older Honda Civic Hybrid and Accord hybrid have all experienced substantial battery wear, the Prius remains among the most reliable vehicles in the marketplace by any standard.

10. Lexus GS

It was our hope to make this list a bit more diverse by incorporating platforms instead of single models, since Toyota has so far managed to nail down eight of the top ten slots in our long-term reliability study.

The good news is that this platform based list offers over 40 distinct models to choose from, both imports and domestic, and certain popular media favorites such as the Honda Accord and Toyota RAV4 can no longer obscure major mechanical defects that don’t take hold until after most first owners sell their vehicles. The bad news for Toyota haters, however, is that yet another Toyota product —the Lexus GS — rounds off the list. The GS was based on the Japan-only Toyota Crown and Toyota Aristo for most of it’s life, and it’s the seventh rear-wheel-drive platform to land in the top ten in our list of best long-term reliability.

These rankings will gradually change over time as we are scheduled to get over 600,000 vehicles into our reliability study by the end of 2014, and well over a million by 2015. So feel free to click here for a model by model breakdown.

But as it stands today, if you’re looking to buy a used car, a Toyota will likely have the most life left.

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For more information about Used Cars, Trucks SUV’s and commercial work trucks in the Louisville Kentucky, KY area and to see dealer selections and inventory – please see the Global Media Relations Group, GMRGinc. Website at:  www.gmrginc.com

Ford Focus Electric: Reviews, Ratings, Rankings, Research and Information – Dealer Louisville Kentucky and Southern Indiana

Ford Focus Electric


2012 Ford Focus Electric
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Also called Ford Focus BEV
Production 2011 – present
Assembly Michigan Assembly Plant, Wayne, Michigan
Class Compact (Ford Global C-Class Platform)
Body style 5-door hatchback
Electric motor 143 hp (107 kW) synchronous motor
Transmission Fixed ratio
Battery 23 kWh lithium-ion battery
Range 76 mi (122 km) (EPA)
Wheelbase 104.3 in (2,649 mm)
Length 171.6 in (4,359 mm) hatchback
Width 81.1 in (2,060 mm)
Height 57.7 in (1,466 mm)
Curb weight 3,691 lb (1,674 kg)

The Ford Focus Electric is a 5-door hatchback electric car produced by Ford Motor Company. The Focus Electric is Ford’s first full production, all-electric passenger vehicle, and production began in December 2011.[1][2] Deliveries for fleet customers in the United States began in December 2011, and was release to retail customers in May 2012 only in California, New York and New Jersey, in limited numbers, followed by the other 16 initial markets in the third quarter of 2012.[3][4] [5][6] The European release is scheduled for late 2012.[7]

The Focus Electric shares the chassis with third generation Ford Focus. Its electric powertrain uses a 23kWh, liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack,[8] which delivers a range of 76 mi (122 km) according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. The agency rated the Focus Electric combined fuel economy at 105 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (2.2 L/100 km),[9] and ranks the Focus Electric as the most fuel-efficient car sold in the United States in the compact class.[10] The Focus Electric was awarded the 2011 Green Car Vision Award at the 2011 Washington Auto Show.[11]

History

The Ford Focus BEV was the concept electric car introduced by Ford Motor Company at the 2009Frankfurt Motor Show.[12][13] The Focus BEV concept used the European Mark II as its donor vehicle and incorporated key components from Ford’s North American hybrid technology, including the electric climate control system from the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid.[13]

The Focus electric pre-production car was unveiled at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show under the new name of Ford Focus Electric, and this pre-production version was based on the Focus Mark III.[8][14]

[U.K. demonstration program

Ford Focus BEV concept car exhibited at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The concept car unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show was developed to participate in the U.K.Government's "Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicles" demonstration initiative in early 2010.[12][13] A consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy and University of Strathclyde will use a fleet of 15 Ford Focus BEVs and a charging infrastructure in and around the London Borough of Hillingdon from early 2010. This new BEV demonstration fleet is being developed partly with public funding from the UK Government’sTechnology Strategy Board (TSB) which promotes innovative industry-led projects that reduce CO2.[12]

Specifications

Powertrain and battery

The Focus Electric shares Ford’s global C-car platform and is based on the glider of the third generation Ford Focus. The electric car is powered by an electric motor rated at 100 kilowatts (130 hp) and uses a 23 kWhcapacity lithium-ion battery pack, which together deliver 92 kW (125 PS; 123 bhp) and 181 lb·ft (245 N·m) of torque.[15] Ford indicated that a battery of an all electric vehicle similar to that of the Focus Electric weighs around 600 to 700 pounds and costs about US$12,000 to US$15,000, or between US$522 and US$650 a kilowatt-hour.[16] The Focus Electric has a top speed of 84 mph (135 km/h).[8][17][18]

Based on its five-cycle testing, the United States Environmental Protection Agency rated the Focus Electric combined fuel economy equivalent at 105 MPGe (2.2 L/100 km), with an equivalent 110 MPGe (2.1 L/100 km) in city driving and 99 MPGe (2.4 L/100 km) on highways. EPA’s certified all-electric range is 76 mi (122 km), 3 miles longer than the Nissan Leaf. [9]

The charging port in the production version is located on the left front fender

Ford used a complete electric drive train developed and supplied by Magna International,[19] and the advanced lithium-ion battery system is being engineered by Ford in cooperation with supplier Compact Power, Inc., a subsidiary of LG Chem.[18][20] A full recharge using the car’s 6.6 kW charger takes 3–4 hours using a SAE J1772-2009 charging station powered from a standard 240 volt socket. A 120-volt convenience cord is also included allowing recharging from North American standard 120-volt outlets which could take up to 20 hours.[17][18]

The advanced battery system uses an active liquid cooling and heating thermal management system to precondition and regulate the temperature in the battery system. This feature helps to maximize battery life and driving range. The active liquid system heats or chills a coolant before pumping it through the battery cooling system. This loop regulates temperature throughout the system against external conditions. On a hot day the cooled liquid absorbs heat from the battery pack, dispersing it through a radiator before pumping it through the chiller again. On a cold day the heated liquid warms the batteries, gradually bringing the system’s temperature to a level that allows it to efficiently accept charge energy and provide enough discharge power for expected vehicle performance.[18]

Ford conducted research to define the optimal location of the charge port for the Focus Electric and the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid. The carmaker decided to locate the port in the left front fender as such location is more convenient for home charging, which Ford found is what most customers would do. Also the side location avoids areas with high risk of damage in the event of small crashes. Ford says this fact was a driving factor in the choice of the side location rather than the rear or the front.[21]

Connectivity and other features

Lateral view of the 2012 Ford Focus Electric

The Ford Focus Electric will introduce new features and a high level of technological connectivity including a unique version of the MyFord Touch driver connect system adapted for electric vehicles, a new value charging feature powered by Microsoft and a smartphone application called MyFord Mobile that owners can use to control and charge their vehicles remotely.[8][18]

The specialized version of the MyFord Touch technology for the Focus Electric offers an innovative presentation of vehicle information, such as battery state of charge, distance to charge points, range budget and expected range margin. The system’s MyView feature allows drivers to access even more vehicle data including the electrical demands of vehicle accessories such as air conditioning, which can impact driving range. This feature would be used to plan multiple-stop journeys within the car’s range and to locate charging stations. The improved MyFord Touch system will also allow drivers to customize the display on a case-by-case basis according to the owners daily, weekly or monthly driving needs.[8][18][22]

Ford’s leaf road logo badge for the Focuselectric car

Inspired in the Ford Fusion Hybrid growing green leaves of first-generation SmartGauge with EcoGuide, the Focus Electric cluster display uses blue butterflies to represent the surplus range beyond the drivers’s charge point destination, as more butterflies are shown the greater the range is, and the blue butterflies gradually disappear as the car’s battery is depleted. Ford says the designers were inspired by the butterfly effect, a phenomenon in which a small change, such as choosing to drive an electric vehicle, can have an enormous impact. At the end of each trip a display screen provides distance driven, miles gained through regenerative braking, energy consumed and a comparative gasoline savings achieved by driving electric.[8][18][22]

The display cluster is integrated with the MyFord Touch map-based Navigation System using the car’s center stack 8-inch touch screen. After the driver adds destinations, including their next charge point, into the Navigation System, the system provides coaching advice about driver behaviors such as optimizing regenerative braking and accelerating without drawing too much energy; or on how to achieve the desired range, or if travel plans need to be adjusted. The on-board Navigation System provides an EcoRoute option based on characteristics of efficient EV driving.[18][22]

The 2012 Focus Electric will include warning sounds to alert pedestrians of its presence when the electric car is running at low speeds. Ford developed four alternative sounds, and in June 2011 involved the car fans by asking them to pick their favorite from the four potential warning sounds through the Focus Electric Facebook page.[23Production

2012 Focus Electric's frontal view
2012 Focus Electric's rear view

Production began in December 2011.[1] The Focus Electric is being built at the Michigan Assembly Plant inWayne, Michigan on the same line as the gasoline-powered version of the Focus, the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid and the C-Max Hybrid.[24][25] Ford stated that initial production will be limited but will be ramped up in 2012.[26] Ford has not made a decision on where the Focus Electric will be built for European markets.[18]

Markets and sales

United States

Because initial production of the 2012 model year is limited, the Focus Electric will be available initially only in 19 metropolitan areas including Atlanta, Houston and Austin, Texas, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York City, Orlando, Florida, Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, Portland, Oregon, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Virginia, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.[24][27] Deliveries for fleet customers began in December 2011[28][5] and to retail customers in May 2012.[29] The first production vehicle was delivered to Google in December 2011 and was incorporated in the company’s GFleet carsharing corporate service.[30][31] Initially sales are limited to California, New York and New Jersey. Ford has scheduled the launch in other selected markets in the third quarter of 2012.[3][28][6] A total of 685 units were sold in 2012.[32]

Ford began taking online orders on November 2, 2011, with pricing starting at US$39,995, including a US$795destination charge, but before the US$7,500 US federal tax credit, along with other state and local incentivesavailable for eligible buyers of plug-in electric vehicles.[27][33] The 2012 Focus Electric is eligible in California to a US$2,500 rebate through the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), and also was granted free access to California’s high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV) for solo drivers.[34]

The Focus Electric is priced significantly higher than a conventional 2012 gas-powered Focus, which as of December 2011 lists a base price of US$16,500, and rising to US$30,692 when fully loaded with all available options. Thus after accounting for all available government incentives, in some locations the Focus Electric may be net-priced similar to a fully loaded gas version. When compared to other plug-in electric vehicles available in the U.S., the Focus Electric has essentially the same price as the 2012 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, and it costs US$3,945 more than the base-model 2012 Nissan LeafSV.[27][35] Available options include leather-trimmed seats and two special paint options, blue candy and white platinum.[35]

Ford Focus Electric at a car festival in Sweden with a claimed range of 160 km (99 miles).

Through an association with SunPower, an optional solar-panel system will be offered by some Ford dealers to be installed on the homes of Focus Electric owners to generate enough renewable energy during the day to offset the electricity used to charge the vehicle at night.[36] The SunPower’s home solar charging option costsUS$10,000 before the available local and federal tax credits. Ford also made an agreement with Best Buy to offer a 240-volt home charging station.[35]

Europe

The European launch is scheduled for late 2012. Although pricing has not been announced, Ford stated that, unlike Renault that will offer a battery-leasing option on its electric vehicles sold in Europe, the Focus Electric will be sold with the battery pack included in the price of the electric car.

Demonstration Focus BEV similar to the one featured on the Jay Leno Show.

Marketing

As a publicity stunt, a Focus BEV was featured on the Jay Leno Show in September 2009. Celebrity guests drove a purpose-built car with the shell from a European market Ford Focus and a test prototype version of electrical powertrain in a segment called “Green Car Challenge”.

Recognition

The Ford Focus Electric was awarded the 2011 Green Car Vision Award at the 2011 Washington Auto Show.[11]The 2012 Focus Electric was selected among the five finalists for the 2012 Green Car of the Year awarded by the Green Car Journal in November 2011 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Since March 2012, the U.S. EPA ranks the Focus Electric as the 2012 most fuel-efficient car sold in the United States in the compact class.