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2012 Ford Focus Electric: Full Production Details Unveiled At CES

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As yet another sign of the gap being bridged between consumer electronics and cars, Ford decided to unveil not only the interface inside its upcoming Ford Focus Electric at the sprawling Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, but the production version of the car itself.

For those who have been following the development of the Focus EV, there are few surprises, or changes in plans, from earlier versions the automaker has been teasing through to this production-ready Focus Electric. Designed with enough range to cover the daily-driving habits of most Americans, the 2012 Ford Focus Electric is powered by a permanent-magnet electric motor making 123 hp (92 kW) and 181 pound-feet of torque. Packaged just under the back seats is a 23-kWh LG Chem (and Holland, Michigan-assembled) battery pack that's actively liquid-heated and cooled, to help maximize battery life and range.

Fun to drive for greenies and everyone else?

Ford is emphasizing that the 2012 Ford Focus Electric is a real car, capable of accelerating smoothly to a top speed of 84 mph.

More than Nissan is doing with its Leaf EV, Ford is pitching the Focus Electric as an EV that's exciting to drive. "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," Ford says in a release.

Nut EV enthusiasts are anticipated to be a large portion of Focus Electric buyers; Ford says that "achieving maximum range in Focus Electric will be a big part of the fun for most drivers."

Lots of information, and an app, to help ease range anxiety

To that, the driver interface of the Focus Electric appears to be designed both to ease range anxiety and to produce the most thrills for serious EV enthusiasts. A MyView function allows you to access electrical demand data for air conditioning and accessories, helping you to better estimate driving range. And, building on the leaves and vine of the gauge cluster in the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Focus Electric used blue butterflies to show, constructively, the driver's surplus range at the moment beyond the charge-point destination. At the end of each driving session, the display shows distance traveled, miles gained through regenerative braking, total energy consumed, and an estimated gasoline savings. These functions are also available, via a connectivity module in the car, from the computing cloud with the MyFord Mobile app.


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