October is the month of electric-car media this year, with major press rollouts and lots of coverage of both the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and the 2011 Nissan Leaf.

Next year, several more electric cars arrive on the U.S. market. One is the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, and yesterday, Ford discussed volume targets for its electric compact. They turn out to be higher than expected.

Ford expects to build more Focus Electrics in 2012 than the "10,000 to 15,000" Volts Chevy has said it will build in 2011. The Ford total won't quite reach the 20,000 Nissan Leafs expected for 2011.

That puts the number of 2012 Ford Focus Electrics around 15,000, a higher total than the 5,000 or so that some analysts had projected.

Ford Focus BEV for The Jay Leno Show's Green Car Challenge

Ford Focus BEV for The Jay Leno Show's Green Car Challenge

The Focus Electric, which will be built alongside the gasoline 2012 Focus in Wayne, Michigan, will arrive late next year, with the bulk of first-year production falling in 2012, according to Sue Cischke, Ford's head of sustainability, environment and safety engineering.

If demand proves to be higher than that, she said, the company had the ablity to order more lithium-ion battery packs and expand production as required.

The 2012 Ford Focus Electric will have a range of up to 100 miles, and will likely be rolled out on a regional basis, as the Volt and the Leaf have been.

For 2012, Ford will also replace its Ford Escape Hybrid crossover with a new model based on the European Kuga, and it will launch a plug-in version of that hybrid Escape as well.

[Detroit News]