Since the release of our 2011 electric car review, Ford has unveiled the new 2012 Focus Electric, first at the recent 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show, and currently at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Though showing up a little late to the electric vehicle party, Ford is flaunting the new Focus’ ability to recharge the 23 kwh lithium-ion battery in as little as 3-4 hours, half the time as that of the Nissan Leaf, by using a faster 6.6 kilowatt on-board charger plugged into an optional 240 volt charging station that can be installed in the home.
The advanced battery system uses an active liquid cooling and heating system to keep the battery at a steady temperature in order to maximize mileage during fluctuations in driving conditions. Ford is also offering up an electric vehicle app for Smartphones which would allow the user to keep track of the charge level, map out the nearest charging stations, and estimate CO2 emissions and money saved based on driving habits to help maximize efficiency.
Ford has joined forces with Best Buy to sell and install the 240 volt charging stations to Focus Electric customers in their homes. The cost for this is set to run around $1,499, which is about $700 less than the charging station Nissan is offering through their car dealers. Another benefit to Ford’s charging station, manufactured by Leviton, is that it’s portable, since it’s not being permanently hard-wired into the home electrical system. Though there have been some questions raised about the feasibility of a non-permanent unit meeting electrical codes, Ford doesn’t seem to be concerned and Geek Squad technicians from Best Buy will perform an electrical audit as well as take care of all the red tape with the electric company. Best Buy is also set to provide charging stations for Mitsubishi’s new EV, the Mitsubishi i. See PlugInCars for more information on these charging stations.
Ford has yet to announce a list price for the new 2012 Ford Focus which is set to hit the market in late 2011, but insiders predict that Ford will continue on the competitive streak by selling the Focus below the Leaf’s MSRP of $32,780. The Focus has traditionally been Ford’s entry as an affordable car for the younger crowd and with the Honda Fit EV and the Mitsubishi i set to come in under $30,000, Ford could continue to make news in the electric vehicle sector.