Ford started European production of its Focus Electric at its German plant last week.

It isn't just the first electric car Ford has produced in Europe, but the first electrified production vehicle period--none of Ford's existing or previous hybrid vehicles have been sold in Europe, where diesel still rules.

The company has confirmed the plug-in hybrid C-Max Energi will go on sale next year though, as will a hybrid version of the Ford Mondeo--a rebadged Fusion.

Europe's electric Focus uses the same 143-horsepower electric motor as its U.S. counterpart, and reaches a limited top speed of 84 mph.

Charging is handled by a 6.6 kW on-board charger, capable of charging the car for a 100-mile range in 3-4 hours at 32 amps, or around 60 miles of range after 2-3 hours. In reality, the European Focus Electric's range will be no different from that of the U.S. version, rated at 76 miles and 32 kWh per hundred miles energy use.

A SmartGauge cluster calculates driving range based on remaining energy and driving style, while a Brake Coach feature helps the driver brake in a way that restores the most energy from regenerative braking. Ford recently boasted its regenerative braking systems have now saved over 100 million gallons of gas.

Don't expect many differences between the U.S. and European electric Focus models though--Europe's car should be vary little from Ford's update-free 2014 Focus Electric.

Ford of Europe is a little more positive in public at least, saying in a press release, "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."

The first cars will reach European customers from July. Whether it can match even Nissan's slow sales, or the increasingly popular Renault Zoe, remains to be seen.


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