Electric Ford Focus to charge onto scene in 2011

jay-leno-ford-focusThe electric car and plug-in hybrid electric car race is definitely heating up.

Ford has announced that it will be selling an electric Ford Focus in 2011, putting the total number of major automakers who’ve committed specifically to selling an EV/PHEV to the general American public within the next two years at three.

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Nissan, which plans to begin selling its LEAF EV in the fall of 2010 and General Motors, which has said it will begin offering the Chevy Volt PHEV at the same time, are the other two major automakers who’ve publically made a specific commitment to offering an EV or PHEV for purchase by the general public in the United States in either 2010 or 2011. Among the smaller auto companies that already are selling or will be selling EVs and PHEVs to the general public in North America and Europe in 2010 or 2011 include: CODA Automotive, Fisker Automotive, and Tesla Motors, which started selling the Tesla Roadster in 2008.

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The zero-emission Focus battery-electric vehicle, which is being developed in partnership with Magna International, features a high-voltage electric motor powered by a high capacity Lithium Ion battery pack and charged by plugging into a 110-volt or 220-volt outlet. Focus Electric will have a targeted range of up to 100 miles per full charge with zero tailpipe emissions.

“We’re changing from a company focused mainly on trucks and SUVs to a company with a balanced product lineup that includes even more high-quality, fuel-efficient small cars, hybrids and all-electric vehicles,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas.

As part of its electrification plan, Ford in 2009 doubled the number and volume of its hybrid electric vehicles to include the award-winning Ford Fusion and Escape hybrids and Mercury Milan and Mariner hybrids.

Ford plans to bring the following electrified vehicles to market over the next three years:

  • Ford Transit Connect battery electric vehicle commercial van in 2010
  • Ford Focus Electric passenger car in 2011
  • Next-generation hybrid based on C-car platform in 2012
  • Plug-in hybrid based on C-car platform in 2012

First to market will be a pure battery electric version of the Ford Transit Connect, a small commercial van introduced in North America in 2009. Transit Connect Electric will have a targeted range of up to 80 miles per full charge and zero tailpipe emissions. With Azure Dynamics serving as upfitter, the first units will enter the market later this year.

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