out of 10

Plug-in electric cars are the next frontier for green car buyers. Hybrids like the 2010 Toyota Prius and 2010 Honda Insight will duke it out this year, but you can't charge them up from wall current.

GM has been promoting its plans for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in car with an auxiliary engine, for more than two years. In January, Ford startled the Detroit Auto Show by saying it would offer a fully electric Focus in 2011.

Now we've had a chance to drive a development version of that car, which is engineered by supplier Magna, which will also build several thousand copies of the car to be sold at Ford dealers.

The bottom line: For a development 'mule', this thing feels like it could have rolled off a production line. We couldn't take the car out on freeways, but the car felt showroom-ready in low-speed testing around the roads and parking lots of DisneyWorld (top speed: 30 mph).

We were particularly impressed with the refinement and lack of noise. Most development vehicles...

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UPDATE2012 Ford Focus Titanium: First Drive Review

Overall, we liked the 2012 Ford Focus Titanium edition a lot, though its $27K price tag startled us, the gas mileage was a little lower than expected, and the MyFordTouch system did not seem ready for primetime to us. Read Update

UPDATEElectric-Car Withdrawal: Gasoline Cars Now Feel Loud, Crude

We can’t get our Volt back soon enough. Electric vehicle driving is a the kind of addiction more of us need to experience. Read Update

UPDATEBuy A 2012 Ford Focus Electric, Get A Deal On Solar Panels

Ford has teamed up with SunPower on a program called "Drive Green For Life." It offers buyers of the Ford Focus Electric a discount on a rooftop solar system that provides up to 1,000 miles worth of charging per month. Read Update

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