Ford has revealed its first all-electric car to the world, the Ford Focus Electric, at CES 2011 in Las Vegas. The car is set to be built at Ford’s assembly plant in Michigan. The Focus Electric is one of five hybrid and all-electric vehicles the company plans to launch in North America and Europe by 2013. This new model will be available in the U.S. later this year.
Ford expects the Focus Electric to get up to 100 miles (160 kilometers) on one charge. In comparison, the Nissan Leaf also has around the same range. In terms of performance, it has a top speed of 84 miles per hour (136 kilometers per hour) and can be charged on a 240 volt outlet at home in three to four hours.
It has to be said that the distinct lack of public charging stations remains a significant issue. There are only about 1,800 public charging stations in the United States. According to Ford’s electric vehicle manager, Mike Tinskey, that number is set to increase to around 12,000 in the next 18 months. We’ll look forward to seeing that.
As well as the existing voice controls, the all-electric car features an enhanced version of MyFord Touch. As part of the software, Ford has also partnered with Microsoft to create “Value Charging”, which allows you to charge up your new car at times when power is cheapest in your area, based on power utility rates.
The new model also features MyFord Mobile, a mobile app that allows you to work out if your car has enough charge to get where you plan to go. Gigaom points out that the app, which will be available on BlackBerry, Android and iOS platforms, and will be able to be accessed by any handset with either an HTML5 or WAP 2.0 supported browser, qualifies the new Ford Focus as a “smart car”. Within the app you will be able to find charge station locations based on your location. The app also features a trip planner which shows your planned journey in relation to your necessary charges.
Here’s a quick video from Guardian showing off some of the new features and apps.
It terms of greener or more sustainable transportation, what do you think about electric cars? How much are they going to help? After a slow start, there seems no doubt there are going to be a LOT of them on the roads in the coming years.