Ford has started production of the Focus EV, the first full-electric vehicle to be built by the U.S. carmaker in Europe. Manufacturing of the Focus Electric was integrated directly into the established Focus assembly line at the company's Saarlouis plant in Germany.
Instead of using a gasoline or diesel engine for its motivation like the regular Focus models, the Electric sports an electric motor and lithium-ion battery powertrain that produces 145PS (143 hp) allowing the hatch to reach a top speed of 84mph (135 km/h).
A 6.6kW fully integrated onboard charger offers a driving range of around 60 miles (96 km) with 2-3 hours charging from a 32A power supply. According to Ford, a full charge of the battery (about 3-4 hours) will deliver a 100-mile range (161 km).
The powertrain uses regenerative braking to capture up to 95 per cent of kinetic energy normally lost during the braking process, while the Brake Coach feature encourages gradual braking to help return more energy to the battery.
"Focus Electric marks the dawn of an exciting new age of full-electric Ford passenger vehicles in Europe, and demonstrates the success of the One Ford strategy in making this sophisticated vehicle available to our European customers," said Barb Samardzich, product development vice president, Ford of Europe.
Among other special features found on the Ford Focus Electric is a new user interface called SmartGauge that calculates and displays driving range based on remaining energy; the driver's braking and acceleration inputs; and the use of accessories such as climate control and audio systems.
The first electrified Focus models will reach European customers in July this year. From next year, Ford plans to bring the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid and Mondeo Hybrid to Europe as well.
By Dan Mihalascu