Car manufacturers have been working hard to produce cars which have lower emissions and have as little an effect as possible on the environment. However, despite the good intention behind these vehicles the number of sales is declining, in parallel with the reduction in the cost of fuel. As fuel becomes cheaper it is easier and more affordable for consumers to return to standard gasoline engines.
However, manufacturers are continuing to bring new, fuel efficient cars into production; this may be in part due to these cars being designed whilst fuel process were exceptional high. The range of new, fuel efficient cars expected to be released in the near future include the Toyota Prius hybrid, Chevrolet Volt ‘extended range’ electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf full electric vehicle and the new Tesla X model.
In fact the twelve greenest cars at the moment are all electric vehicles, which should not really be a surprising fact. The fact that the market for these vehicles is slowing will force the prices down and help people who want to help the environment but couldn’t previously afford to. These people are being aided by discounts, cash rebates and the federal tax credit which can go as high as US$7,500!
The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive received a green score of 63 from the ACEEE and is, for the third year running, the greenest car available in the US. It can achieve a whopping 107 miles per gallon in a combined environment. Although the Chevrolet Spark EV gives it a good run for its money; it also scores 63 and can do a huge 119 miles to the gallon!
Top Fuel Efficient Cars
Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Convertible / coupe which can do 68 miles on one charge and 107mpg.
Chevrolet Spark EV is only available in California, Maryland and Oregon. It can do 82 miles on one charge and 119mpg.
Fiat 500e is available in California and Oregon and can go for 82 miles without a recharge. IT can achieve 104mpg and scored 62 in the ACEEE ratings.
Toyota Prius Ecco is a hybrid electric / gas combination which can achieve 56mpg and scored 61 in the ACEEE tests.
Volkswagen e-golf can travel 83 miles on one charge at an average rating of 116 mpg. It scored 61 and is available in a wide range of states.
Nissan Leaf; this all electric vehicle can do 107 miles on one charge and achieve 116mpg!
Kia Soul Electric is only available in California, it can do 93 miles on one charge and achieves 105mpg
Toyota Prius C is a hybrid which scores 61 in tests and can offer 50mpg.
Standard Toyota Prius – this vehicle is also a hybrid and scores 58 in the tests while providing 52mpg.
Ford Focus Electric can cover 76 miles in one charge and offers 105 miles per gallon. It is available across America and scored 57 in the ACEEE tests.
Chevrolet Volt – this hybrid vehicle offers 53 miles on one charge and 106 miles per gallon on electric only power or 42mpg in gasoline mode.
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid; with a score of 56 this vehicle takes the number twelve spot and offers 44mpg under a hybrid electric / gasoline mix. It scored 56 in the ACEEE test.
Porsche 911 Carrera S – the 911 Carrera S can get to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. This makes it both fast and fuel-efficient. There’s a 3.8 flat six engine under the hood that helps this beauty get to 400 hp.
The rating is decided based upon the mile per gallon figure, the emissions and the overall impact on the environment which includes the effect of its manufacture. Even a zero rated emissions car will have had an environmental impact depending upon the materials used and how the power is generated to both manufacture it and run it. Whilst an electric vehicle is going to be much more environmentally friendly than a petrol powered one, the actually effect on the environment is controlled by how the electricity is generated which powers it.
Ford has played an integral role in the growth of the electric car market. And the Focus Electric has been one of the flagship models for environmentally conscious drivers to eulogise over. The 2016 incarnation looks set to take the industry by storm, but is it worth the hype?
One word answer: definitely.
However, I’m sure you want a little more information than an emphatic yes. Well, there are plenty of reasons to start getting excited about this model. Here’s why your anticipation should be hitting overdrive.
Let’s make no mistake, driving an electric car is not perfect. It would be wrong to suggest otherwise, and there are pros and cons to be had from driving an electric vehicle. However, the Focus Electric 2016 is set to be the most popular edition yet. Subsequently, this should help overcome some of the negative issues.
Ford is a powerhouse in the automobile industry. Their continued progress will lead to improvements throughout the industry. Quite frankly, this could have huge benefits for drivers of electric cars everywhere – even if they aren’t driving a Focus Electric.
Those developments should have you excited, regardless of whether you plan to drive this model.
Arguably the coolest feature on the Ford Focus Electric is Brake Coach. In a nutshell, it allows the driver to charge the battery simply by braking better.
That’s right, the feature will actively harvest the energy lost through braking to help charge the car. It’s a great feature that could save you from getting stuck without any juice. It will allow drivers to take longer trips without worrying where the nearest charging facilities are. Moreover, that saved energy is helping the planet. That’s something that all eco-friendly drivers will be happy to hear about.
Owners of older models will already know about Brake Coach. But, as expected, it’s becoming more advanced each year. Be excited.
More Readily Available
This edition will mark four years since the first Focus Electric entered the global car market. Naturally, that means we’re seeing better features than ever before. But perhaps the most important aspect is that it’s helping electric cars become more accessible.
People aren’t going to buy electric cars unless it’s convenient. Moreover, many drivers won’t buy them because they simply aren’t aware of them. However, the 2016 edition will be seen in more dealerships than ever. Ford dealers like the one athttp://www.tch.co.uk/ could soon be making headway into the way we view electric cars altogether. And the Focus Electric is a central figure.
The increased availability won’t just improve awareness. Many drivers will like the idea of driving an electric car, but will feel hesitant until they’ve driven one. Booking a test drive could be the difference between interest and wanting to purchase.
For electric car drivers looking for a new model in 2016, there will already be a huge deal of excitement surrounding the Ford Focus Electric. But the fact it could change this sector of the industry should be reason for eco-friendly people to celebrate everywhere. We can’t wait for its release.
The Ford Focus was unveiled last week at the International CES in Las Vegas. Below is Ford’s promotional video of the vehicle in action. As you can see, it looks just like a regular Ford Focus, except for the grille and lack of tailpipe. Ford plans to release four more electric vehicles as part of it’s electrification strategy. That is innovative thinking.
Information contained on this page is provided by companies via press release distributed through PR Newswire, an independent third-party content provider. PR Newswire, WorldNow and this Station make no warranties or representations in connection therewith.
SOURCE Ford Motor Company
DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ —
All-new Ford Focus Electric is the first fuel-free, rechargeable passenger car from Ford and one of five new electrified vehicles Ford will deliver by 2013 in North America and Europe
Focus Electric will offer a mile-per-gallon equivalent better than Chevrolet Volt and competitive with other battery electric vehicles
The all-electric Focus is capable of fully recharging in three to four hours at home using the available wall-mounted 240-volt charge station – charging in half the time of the Nissan Leaf
The new Focus Electric offers value charging, powered by Microsoft, to help owners in the U.S. charge their vehicles at the cheapest utility rates, lowering the cost of ownership
Focus Electric provides a special version of MyFord Touch™ driver connect technology especially for electric customers and introduces MyFord Mobile, a smartphone app and website for monitoring key vehicle functions and charge settings while mobile
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) unveiled today its all-new Focus Electric – the company’s first-ever all-electric passenger car. The zero-CO2-emissions, gasoline-free version of Ford’s popular small car is the flagship of the company’s growing fleet of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles coming to North America and Europe by 2013.
“Focus Electric is the flagship of our new family of electrified vehicles, showcasing our commitment to offer consumers choice when it comes to fuel-efficient or fuel-free vehicles,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president for Global Product Development. “Its advanced powertrain will deliver significant energy efficiency advantages and zero CO2 emissions without compromising driving enjoyment. And its suite of smart driver information technologies will transform the way customers think about energy usage and their transportation needs.”
The Focus Electric will launch in late 2011 and is designed to offer enough range to cover the majority of daily driving habits of Americans. It will offer a mile-per-gallon equivalent better than Chevrolet Volt and competitive with other battery electric vehicles.
A full recharge is expected to take three to four hours at home with the 240-volt charge station –half the charge time of the Nissan Leaf.
Focus Electric introduces new features and technologies – including a unique version of the MyFord Touch driver connect system especially for electric vehicles, a new value charging feature powered by Microsoft and a smartphone app called MyFord Mobile that helps plug-in owners control their vehicles remotely.
The sleek and stylish five-door hatchback leverages Ford’s global C-car platform shared by the gasoline and diesel-powered Focus models, which debuted at the 2010 North American International Auto Show and were launched at the Paris Motor Show in September.
Both Focus gasoline and electric variants to be sold in North America will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., with production powered in part by one of the largest solar energy generator systems in the state.
For European markets, a decision on where the Focus Electric will be built is currently being finalized.
Focus Electric is one of five new electrified vehicles included in Ford’s electrification strategy. Initial deliveries of Transit Connect Electric began in North America at the end of last year and the vehicle will be launched in Europe later in 2011.
A real car
Not only is Focus Electric designed to provide outstanding energy efficiency and reliable operation, it also delivers real driving enjoyment. The all-electric powertrain and single-speed transmission provide immediate responsiveness and smooth acceleration when the driver pushes down the accelerator, up to a top speed of 84 mph (136 kph).
Much of Focus Electric’s steering, handling and braking feel is shared with the agile, sporty, fuel-powered Focus models upon which it’s based, making Focus Electric a dynamic driver’s car. At the same time, the absence of a gasoline or diesel engine and outstanding aerodynamics lead to a remarkably quiet, comfortable in-car experience.
“More than any other electric vehicle on the market, Focus Electric loses none of the dynamics and quality of driving a traditional car,” said Sherif Marakby, director of Ford’s electrification programs and engineering. “It shares many of the same premium components and features as its gasoline-powered counterpart, while delivering distinct efficiencies and a uniquely exciting driving experience.”
Focus Electric offers a host of standard safety and security features including six airbags and electronic traction control, along with hands-free SYNC® telephone connectivity and MyKey® forNorth America. Extensive eco-friendly materials, such as bio-foam seat cushions and recycled fabrics also are featured in the vehicle.
Other standard features on Ford Focus Electric for North American customers include a unique execution of MyFord Touch driver connect technology, 15-spoke 17-inch aluminum wheels, a 60/40 split rear bench seat, push button start, AM/FM/CD/MP3 Sony® Audio with nine speakers, Sirius® Satellite Radio with Travel Link, HD Radio™ and voice-activated Navigation System.
Plug and play
Future owners of the Focus Electric will likely recharge the car’s advanced, Ford-engineered lithium-ion battery pack at home on a daily basis, using the recommended 240-volt wall-mounted charge station that will be sold separately or the 120-volt convenience cord that comes with the vehicle.
When plugged in, the Focus Electric onboard charger converts AC power from the electric grid to DC power to charge the liquid-cooled/heated battery pack.
“We’re very excited about the potential of Focus Electric in the marketplace. With so many of us accustomed to recharging mobile electronics on a daily basis, we’re confident our customers will take to the vehicle recharging process just as easily, because that’s exactly what it is – easy,” saidNancy Gioia, Ford director of Global Electrification. “Not only have we made the practice of plugging in simple and straightforward, we’re working with leading technology companies and the utility industry to make the EV experience empowering and engaging.”
An empowering experience
Focus Electric owners will be provided with a suite of driver information systems – on-board and off-board – designed to help them manage the recharge process, manage the most eco-friendly route on-board, monitor battery state of charge and maximize energy efficiency to optimize their driving range. This carefully engineered set of tools is designed to give Focus Electric the edge over competitive products, providing new electric vehicle owners the information they need to enjoy all the freedom gas-free driving has to offer.
Among these tools is a unique execution of MyFord Touch driver connect technology. Thoughtfully developed for electric vehicle owners, it offers innovative presentation of vehicle information, such as battery state of charge, distance to charge point, the corresponding 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.
Just as the growing leafy vine of first-generation SmartGauge™ with EcoGuide represents fuel efficiency in the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the cluster display in Focus Electric uses blue butterflies to represent the surplus range beyond one’s charge point destination – the more butterflies there are, the greater the range.
Ford designers were inspired by the phenomenon known as “the butterfly effect,” in which a small change, like choosing to drive an electric vehicle, can have an enormous impact. To reinforce the message, 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.
The cluster is also integrated with the MyFord Touch map-based Navigation System using the vehicle’s center stack 8-inch touch screen. After adding their driving destinations, including their next charge point, into the vehicle’s Navigation System, the vehicle will coach drivers 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.
Off-board, Focus Electric owners in North America will be able to maintain constant contact with the car anywhere they have mobile phone access using the Ford-developed MyFord Mobile app.
MyFord Mobile is an app that enables access via a smartphone or web-based interface to:
Receive instant vehicle status information
Perform key functions remotely
Monitor the car’s state of charge and current range
Get alerts when it requires charging or has finished charging
Remotely program charge settings and download vehicle data for analysis
The feature also allows the owner to program the vehicle to use electricity from the grid to heat or cool the battery and cabin while plugged in – called preconditioning. For example, during hot summer months, owners can preprogram the car the evening before to be fully charged – and fully cooled to a particular temperature – by a certain time the following morning. Users can also locate the vehicle with GPS, remotely start the vehicle and remotely lock and unlock the car doors.
Working with MapQuest®, MyFord Mobile can communicate charge station and other points of interest to Focus Electric using SYNC’s Traffic, Directions and Information (TDI). Turn-by-turn guidance is provided by the in-car map-based Navigation System. Drivers can also get up-to-date charging station information in their vehicle directly through SYNC TDI simply by connecting to SYNC Services.
The new Focus Electric offers a unique value charging feature, powered by Microsoft, to help owners in the U.S. charge their vehicles at the cheapest utility rates, lowering the cost of ownership.
“Value charging allows our customers to reduce their electricity costs by taking advantage of off-peak or other reduced rates from their utility without a complicated set-up process,” said Ed Pleet, manager, Ford Connected Services Organization. “This is a ‘set it and forget it’ approach for the customer to reduce energy cost.”
The tool is designed to help customers avoid unnecessary expense by providing an optimized charge. In the future, these smart charging habits will help utility companies understand and better manage the demands placed upon the electric grid because of electrified vehicles.
Getting charged up
Focus Electric owners are likely to handle one of the vehicle’s charge cord connectors two or more times each day. That’s why Ford worked with supplier Yazaki to provide an industry-standard five-point plug that is ergonomically comfortable to hold as well as durably and distinctively designed.
The plug handle uses a matte-finished black rubber that allows for a comfortable, non-slip grip. The plug head is shielded with a protective glossy white plastic.
When the cord set connector is plugged into the vehicle’s charge port, which is conveniently located between the driver’s door and front wheel well, it activates a light ring that loops around the port twice in acknowledgement of connectivity. The light ring then illuminates in quadrants as the vehicle charges. Flashing quadrants represent charge in progress and solid-lit quadrants show stages of charge completion. In the unlikely event of a fault, the entire ring will flash. When the entire ring is solidly lit, the vehicle is fully charged.
Focus Electric will be powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery system engineered by Ford in cooperation with supplier LG Chem. The battery system utilizes heated and cooled liquid to help maximize battery life and fuel-free driving range.
Thermal management of lithium-ion battery systems is critical to the success of pure electric vehicles. Focus Electric uses an advanced active liquid cooling and heating system to precondition and regulate the temperature in its larger, more complex lithium-ion battery system.
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 hot days, chilled liquid absorbs heat from the batteries, dispersing it through a radiator before pumping it through the chiller again. On cold days, 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.
“Focus Electric is the culmination of years of research and development,” said Kuzak. “More importantly, it’s the start of an exciting new era for Ford and our customers.”
For more information
Click here to access global press materials for the news Ford is unveiling at the 2011 International CES, including Focus Electric and MyFord Touch.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 163,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotivebrandsinclude Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
Ford’s CEO, Alan Mulally, will present the new electric Ford Focus this Friday at 11 AM PST at the 2011 International CES in Las Vegas. The electric sedan is expected to have a 100 mile range, a 23kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted in the trunk, and a 134 hp motor mounted in the front. The car is expected to rival the Nissan Leaf, both in price ($25,000 after federal tax incentives) and performance. Most likely, it will simply look like the latest model of the 2012 Ford Focus.
The Ford Focus Electric is tentatively scheduled to be available from 2011 in Atlanta, Austin and Houston, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Orlando, Phoenix and Tucson, Portland, Raleigh Durham, Richmond, Seattle and Washington, D.C. with other cities due to be added in 2012 and 2013.