With the first sales of the 2012 Ford Focus Electric registered last month, Ford's battery-electric compact hatchback enters the market to compete with the Nissan Leaf and other plug-in cars.

Unlike the Leaf, though, the Focus Electric is an adaptation of a high-volume gasoline-powered car.

And Ford is proud of the fact that it's built on the same assembly line in its Wayne, Michigan, plant as every other Focus.

The line workers omit several steps and add a few others to build a Focus Electric amidst dozens of gasoline Focus models.

It starts with a different floorpan stamping, though the rest of the body shell is largely the same.

The assembly sequence installs the lithium-ion battery pack roughly between the rear wheels, adjacent to the station where gasoline tanks are installed in regular Focuses.

Similarly, the electric motor, power electronics, and orange high-voltage wiring are added in stations spread throughout the rest of the assembly process.

Watch the video for Ford's full explanation of what's new, what's left out, and how a 2012 Focus Electric is assembled.


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