Ford Focus Electric Extended One Week Test Drive

2 years ago by Lyle Dennis 77

I have just completed spending one week with the brand new Ford Focus Electric car.  The vehicle is just now arriving to waiting owners this month, with only a handful at this point delivered.

The vehicle marks Ford’s first entry into the retail plugin market and it is a pure electric car.  Unlike other automakers, Ford has not made the Focus electric as a standalone car.  It is instead an optional drivetrain for the Focus which is also available as a gas version.

2013 Ford Focus Electric

The car possesses a 23 kwh thermally managed battery pack and Ford claims a 76 mile real world expected driving range.  It is priced full of technological features at $39,995 before a $7500 federal tax credit.

I have driven several electric cars and hybrids, and personally have been driving a Chevy Volt for the last year and a half as my daily car.  I used the Focus for all my real world needs for a full week, including shopping with my family of five.

Design

The Focus has a very nice design.  It is a medium sized hatchback with European flair.  It is low to the ground with large-looking tires and wheels, is wide stanced and taut.  It has a graceful and aggressive aesthetic and doesn’t have a dorky green-car look.  Though low to the ground I found it never scrapes in locations where my Volt front wind-foil always does.  The grill is interesting and futuristic.  There is ample visibility both front and rear.

The side mirrors have a smaller wider-view mini mirror embedded to provide two views simultaneously, and there is a rear view camera.

Ford has chosen to keep the design the same across the Focus lineup such that the gas and electric versions only differ in drivetrain rather than giving the EV a specific look.  Ford is doing that with other cars too like the Fusion and C-MAX.

Braking Acceleration and Handling

I would say I found the car quick, light, and nimble.  Even though the heavy pack keeps the car stuck well to the road it doesn’t make the car feel especially heavy, something other EVs tend to do.

It is more or less a normal driving car but the electric motor is butter smooth and whisper quiet.  I mean really quiet.  It is the quietest EV I have ever driven.

It is also quite quick and has ample passing power on the highway.  I found the 0 to 30 to be 3.9 seconds and the 0 to 60 at 8.9.

The brakes are strong and a bit grabby but never became uncertain in my week of driving.  Regenerative drag was absent in the D position and just minimal in the L position.

Interior

Focus Electric Interior

The interior was not big.  A little cramped but bright and airy.  It was adequate for two adults and three children in the rear with additional cargo space behind the rear seats.  The cargo bay was about 30 percent reduced as the battery sticks up into it.

I enjoyed the dashboard displays.  They were futuristic with clean graphics and intuitive use.  The center touch LCD display had a myriad of options which were easy to find and use.  There is navigation which also allowed you to see nearby charging stations.  The radio and smart-phone interfaces were smooth and fun to use.  Ford and Microsoft’s Sync system allows for voice control of everything the dash could do.  I tried it a bit but frankly never enjoy much success with these, though admittedly I never read the training manual.

I outlined my experience with the eco-coaching displays and iPhone app here.  Those were very well executed.

Charging/Range

Heads Up Dashboard Cluster

Overall I drove the car about 200 miles in my 6 days of use.  My daily commute is only 6 miles round trip, though I go on 60 or so mile excursions a couple of times per week.  I had no trouble meeting my regular driving needs with this pure EV.  I charged overnight using my Voltec 220V charger.  The Ford is capable at charging at twice the rate of this system, or about 3 hours from empty to full.

The vehicle displays the most likely range on the dash based on previous use, and for me that showed the same 76 miles the EPA has rated it at.  This was real and easily achievable.  The vehicle had so far a lifetime efficiency of 275 watt-hours/mile for the 900 miles it has been driven since production.

Comparisons

Currently the only production EVs on US roads now are the Nissan LEAF and the Mitsubishi i. The LEAF is rated at 72 miles of range, and the Mitsubishi 62.  Having driven them I would say the Ford is a bit faster and much sleeker in design, but beauty is of course only in the eye of the beholder, in this case mine.

The Chevy Volt is a different beast and has far more utility due to its gas range extender.  It does, however require me to use about a gallon of gas per week to cover that 200 miles, something the Ford allowed me to avoid.  A small tradeoff for increased utility and same basic price.

Conclusion

The Ford Focus Electric is a well-conceived and well-executed pure electric vehicle.  It is sleek, fun to drive, and full of the latest technology.  Its 76 mile range is real world and will easily be even better for feather-footed hypermilers.  The price of $39,995 (before $7500 tax credit) is steep when considering the fact that an identical-shelled Focus gas version is only $18,300.  Buyers at this point in time will still pay heavily for the privilege of driving on electricity.

 

 

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77 responses to "Ford Focus Electric Extended One Week Test Drive"

  1. Marc Lee says:

    “Regenerative drag was absent in the D position and just minimal in the L position.”

    I found this interesting, and quite the opposite from my test drive experience with the Focus Electric, where the regen on D was very heavy. I guess they have made a change from the test drive vehicles to the production units? There was even some talk of a user selectable regen level being a possibility.

    I really want there to be zero regen in D. Let me choose when and how much regen I want with the brake. Although heavy regen in L is a good thing.

  2. Marc Lee says:

    While the base model Focus can be had for about $18k I would say the Focus Electric is even better equipped than the high end Focus Titanium and that goes for about $25k true market value according Edmunds.

    http://www.edmunds.com/ford/focus/2012/options.html?trim=&sub=sedan&style=101364704

    Still, not cheap. But if you are someone who puts lots of miles per year, it can offer good ROI.

  3. Schmeltz says:

    It sounds like you liked this car a great deal Lyle. I was little surprised the back seat would accomadate 3 children well as I was thinking it would be too cramped. Good on Ford. It seems they took their time with this car and came out with a very well executed vehicle. Sadly, my prediction is it will sell at very low numbers due to the cost. As for Ford otherwise, I don’t care for the looks of the C-Max Energi, but am deeply interested the Fusion Energi. Now there’s a looker! I think the Fusion Energi will be the one to watch on the green scene and I’m anxious to see it in a Volt vs. Fusion Energi comparison test.

    By the way Lyle, looking forward to you, Jay, and Marc doing some youtube videos of your reviews!

  4. James says:

    These compliance cars always leave me wanting. My guess is that Ford will build only a small amount of these with an eye on LEAF’s success ( or failure ) rate. It would be great to see 5,000 – 10,000 of these sold per year.

    At $39.000, most would do well to wait for C-Max and Fusion Energi’s. Nobody would purchase a $55,000 Fusion or C-Max, so my best guess is that they’ll retail for at or near what this car does with a lot more versatility and a bit more room inside.

    Still, if one wants off gasoline entirely – this car should make any prospective LEAF buyer
    think about getting the Ford if they can. Just the thermally conditioned battery pack would convince me – and the 6.6 KW charger. Add the Made In USA label and it’s a no-brainer.

    1. Bonaire says:

      This is a “Leaf killer” on its own. US-made, sound engineering and of course, better looking. With Leafs selling at 500/month now, the Focus could take away that small market share from the Leaf. The daunting thing is – would Ford want to or just put more eggs in the C-Max Energi basket? I assume the latter because this is where the Chevy Volt shines. EV around town anda commute – gas generation on-board to go any number of miles. The BEV-100 is just too limiting for “us Americans” and our need to go any number of miles anytime we wish to. The Volt outselling the Leaf every month now is an indication of that. If Ford prices the C-Max Energy in the same range as the Volt – they will help build the EREV revolution that the Volt has started. All good for energy independence.

      1. Anton Wahlman says:

        “US made”…. sure, but as of October 2012 so will be the Nissan LEAF.

        1. Mike Murphy says:

          but the leaf will still be Japanese labeled and the profits ultimately go to the foreign manufacturer

          1. bloggin says:

            exactly, the leaf is ‘put together’ in the US, but it is still a Japanese company with profits going back home to Japan, benefiting the Japanese economy. Ford is an American company, with no matter where they build their cars, profits come back to America, and benefit the American economy.

            1. Jim says:

              I assume you would agree that Chrysler, which is owned by the Italian company Fiat, is no longer a “made in the USA” or “American” car, right?

    2. Sean says:

      I am interested just because my family of 5 would fit – 3 young/younger kids – ages 3 to 10. They won’t fit in the Leaf as it is a 4 seater.

      1. Anton Wahlman says:

        The Focus is no less of a 5 seater compared to the LEAF. The Volt is a strict 4 seater.

      2. Modern Marvel Fan says:

        Most 5 seater sedan can NOT fit 3 car seats for young children in the back row anyway…

      3. Ken Barbour says:

        The Leaf is a five seater and I recently had five adults in mine. You may be thinking of the Volt which only has 4 seats.

    3. bloggin says:

      The C-Max/Fusion Energy should be priced around $34k – $38k, less than the volt, but offer about 26 ev miles and 44+highway mpg.

      Also what has not been given much press is the fact that the Volt is outselling the Prius V plug-in month after month. Toyota tries to bundle all the versus cars called Prius together, to give the impression of larger sales.

      Which is why I can’t wait for Ford to offer the 2014 Fiesta, with the 1.0 99hp ecoboost and over 50mpg. Hybrid mpg without the hybrid premium price. A much better option than the cheap/plastic Prius C. Followed by the 1.0 124hp 2015 Focus that’s offered in the UK, that should get about 47mpg US.

    4. doug liser says:

      The problem that Ford and Chevy have with the brand is about half the US market for EVs are in California and historically Californians especially on the coast will not buy US cars. This gives the PIP and Leaf a huge branding advantage. If Ford and Chevy are able to crack that with a better electric, it will represent a huge move forward for Detroit.

      I have to laugh about Chevy’s Malibu commercial citing the beach town heritage of the vehicle. I’m wondering if even one person living in Malibu owns one.

  5. Shawn Marshall says:

    Thanks for the good review. Your opinions are backed by a lot of experience.
    I can’t wait til my wife will let me buy an EV. It’ll probably have to be a used one when one of our bangers gives up the ghost.
    Like your new site – great concept.

    1. Lyle Dennis says:

      Thanks for the compliments – its fun to follow the whole industry now that its really burgeoning.

  6. America1st says:

    And both made here in the USA and fueled here in the USA, creating jobs in the USA. I have my Volt, and a 2nd electric is coming for the next tax timeframe of 2013, or 1 Jan 2014. Keep up the great work Lyle. I’ve been here with you since 2008. Run for Congress. This country needs someone on the cutting edge,a nd supporting american technology and manufacturing.

    Chevy Volt, American-made, American-FUELED. Foreign oil, let’s make it a thing of the past.

    1. Sean says:

      Amen! I can’t wait to see what the Tesla Model X offers. :-)

    2. Anton Wahlman says:

      The Nissan LEAF will be built in the U.S. starting this October.

  7. America1st says:

    West Virginians, $7500 tax credit, and then another $7500 at the state level. Nice deal for the folks there. Buy one please and sell it on autotrader for a profit. Keep these great cars selling. I’m in Colorado. Nicely, $5890 on the Volt. Helped make this a no brainer purchase.

    1. Mike Murphy says:

      unfortunately WV dealers also tack on dealer markups of $1500-2500, so the profit potential is not as great as you might think.

  8. Stuart22 says:

    Nice to see that Ford is finally in the game even if their effort still seems to be rather ‘wait and see’. Though the FFE is an electric powertrain put into an existing body, this particular Focus model does have a unique styling flair that stands out among other cars.

  9. daveinolywa says:

    i work at Ford and i dont think you will take a Focus off the lot with camera, etc for $18,000. also i did not find the mention of a “tiny” tax credit?

  10. Russ says:

    I was very interested in the Volt put decided to pass when they put an off the shelf gasoline engine into it that only got 35 MPG in the gas mode and had to run on high test. I got a Prius instead that gets 60 MPG (less in the winter time, about 54MPG) and am extremely happy with it. The car that I am waiting for is the Tesla, model S!

    1. Jim I says:

      Russ:

      It all depends upon your driving patterns.

      If you need to regularly drive over 80 miles per day, then the Volt is not the right fit for you. The premium gas over regular was done because so many Volt owners don’t use that much gas, and it would go stale. Since I use about 8 gallons of gas every other month, it means I have to spend an extra $24.00 per YEAR for premium over regular. Hardly a concern. And you state your mileage at 54-60 MPG. I am at 125. Plus, I found the Volt to be a much better vehicle in general.

      I look at it as how much I am spending for fuel per year, For electricity and premium gasoline, my total fuel costs for 2012 will be less than $500.00.

      Everyone has to look at what they need for themselves.

      1. Anton Wahlman says:

        Who cares if the Volt does 25, 35, 45 or 55 miles per gallon if you only consume 10 gallons per year? Some people do just that. It all depends how much/long you drive between charges. But for people who charge at least once a day/night, 10 gallons per year is doable in some cases.

        1. sumo says:

          Get a volt &GM will take the money to China. I go FORD all the way.

          1. Mike Murphy says:

            Explain? GM is building all components of the Volt in the US now, as well as all Opel (Europe) and Vauxhall (UK) Amperas and Holden (Australia) Volts. The engine manufacturing was moved from Austria, the battery manufacturing from Korea. They are repatriating jobs to build the Volt. Why do you think the money would go to China?

            1. Paul in NY says:

              Because isn’t GM like the #1 car brand in Asia??? (I think “sumo” was implying that GM is using its profits–money and experience–to build cars for the huge huge Chinese market.)

            2. Modern Marvel Fan says:

              Ford is investing in China like crazy to catch up with GM.

              So, your argument that Ford is putting money in the US is silly.

              GM’s Volt is built in the US and profits will go back paying off some of that tax payer loan.

              Ford also got a DOE green loan (~$25Billion). You just don’t hear about it.

  11. Herm says:

    Good review Lyle, a quick correction.. you meant to use taut instead of taught suspension.

    It is a compliance BEV but I’m sure Ford will increase the production run if there is demand.. as long as Magna can supply the components.

    1. Lyle Dennis says:

      Thanks Herm. Typo corrected.

  12. Jim I says:

    Lyle:

    A great post.

    I would think this could be a perfect fit for my wife. Her driving patterns would make sense for a vehicle like this.

    Pricing is still a concern at this point.

    1. Mike Murphy says:

      Jim: price after tax credit $32,500, minus trade and any state incentives you may be eligible for. In addition, consider the savings in fuel and maintenance and you may find that the cost is pretty competitive to a similarly equipped ICE model Focus. I am driving a Volt on almost nothing but electricity (9200 miles on less than 13 gallons of gas in 6 months) and saving $250/month on fuel alone compared to the 21mpg car I traded. I also need nothing but tire rotations (which I do myself: TPMS reset tool cost the same as 2 rotations would) until my first oil change at 2 years (which the Focus will not need). At 45,000 miles I need to change the engine air filter (which the Focus will not need). Even in a Volt the maintenance costs are several hundred dollars lower than a conventional gasoline vehicle, and the Focus should be at LEAST as good as the Volt on savings.

  13. jstack6 says:

    We test drove the Focus EV in Phoenix May 17th and were very impressed. I’ve had a LEAF for over a year and they are very similar.

    A few items we’d love to see on the Focus are adjustable regen so you could coast or 1 peddle drive if you wanted to. The displays could have a live miles/ KwH like the LEAF and Tesla have. That helps you be a better driver. Also when they add the fast charge port a lot of people will appreciate that.
    The feature that would show they are way ahead of everyone is to add V2G, Vehicle to GRID is the most advanced feature and makes a EV pay for itself while helping stabilize the GRID. Read V2G-101.com

  14. DelS says:

    “an identically shelled Ford Focus is $18,000″. Really? You are using the often used lazy and sometimes intentional falsehood of comparing a base car to the optioned out Focus EV.

    And my wife has been driving an electric Coda Sedan(which you did not mention was available) for about 2 months here in L.A. Thanks to our solar panels on top of our house, our electric bill has averaged $-2.80 each month including charging our Coda. So.Cal Edison will be sending us a check.

    So, literally, our ‘gas’ for the all-electric Coda ($13,000miles/yr) is free. Versus $4500/yr we spent on gas last year on her previous vehicle.

    1. Spec says:

      “Versus $4500/yr we spent on gas last year on her previous vehicle.”

      Did she drive an M1A1 Abrams tank? ;-)

      1. Mike Murphy says:

        probably a Hummer or Suburban: 13,000 miles/$4500=2.89 miles/$ x $4.15/gal= 12mpg

  15. DaveN (OR) says:

    Good review. I’m a very happy Leaf owner (one of the first) in Portland, OR, and will be looking for another EV when the Leaf comes off lease. I keep reading about substantial improvements in battery energy density coming in the next couple of years. Will keep my eyes on this Focus.

  16. Open-Mind says:

    Thanks Dr. Lyle for this great review. It’s content like this that keeps me coming back to your new site. it’s already far better than your old site, which I’ve been reading about 5 years now.

  17. Lmwiech says:

    If the government has to pay you $7500 to drive it, it’s not good enough.

    1. American says:

      Yeah, it would be much better to send the $7500 overseas to keep the oil flowing.

    2. TeV says:

      @ Lmwiech:

      So I guess no gas-powered car is ‘good enough’ to drive by your standards either, since the American oil & gas industry receives over $4 BILLION PER YEAR in PERMANENT subsidies, compared to the SEVERAL HUNDRED MILLION they’re spending over the lifetime of the TEMPORARY tax credit rebate (several years).

      In other words, your beloved gas guzzler is subsidized by the government to the tune of FIFTY TIMES more than an EV – an amount that grows each time you fill your tank with corporate-welfare-subsidized gas.

      And those EV tax credits are meant to encourage the development of a made-in-America alternative to dependence on unsustainable, terrorist-linked foreign oil supplies. But of course, that’s ‘not good enough’ for you. You’d rather prop up a 100-year-old dinosaur technology than actually try to improve America’s energy security.

    3. Open-Mind says:

      The $7500 is a tax credit, not a payment. So a Volt buyer pays the government less than they otherwise would. Just as those with children pay the government less.

      How will you benefit from this?

      1) Electric cars run on domestic energy, not energy purchased from foreign governments. This helps reduce our trade deficit and possibly reduces the funding of terrorism.

      2) As oil begins to compete with electricity (which is about 5X cheaper per mile) oil prices will come down. Today oil has no competition, so oil producers can charge whatever they want. Less demand for oil will also help reduce its price.

    4. America1st says:

      We’re paying $14 billion a year to oil. Do we need to actually incentivize the purchase of oil for God’s sake!! That’a bout as unamerican a statement as any I’ve heard in a long time. To help you with basic math, we pay foreigners $400 billion every year for oil. If we took a fraction of that, we could outright BUY every american in the market an electric car and keep those dollars and jobs right here. Sorry, but try TURNING OFF the Rush Limbaugh hour and reason with the group you’ve self-invited your comments into. Dennis Lyle in particular is an unsung American hero for the work he’s done on his founding website. GO DENNIS – CONGRESS AWAITS YOU’RE RUNNING FOR OFFICE!!

    5. America1st says:

      Wow, someone must shove their hand up this talking puppet every morning. Does the name Rush come to mind. Ditto heads should tune out and try using their own noggin for a change. Unreal.

    6. Mike Murphy says:

      If the Government has to pay you to buy a house then you should not own a house (mortgage interest and realestate tax deductions). If the government has to pay you to have kids then you should stay celibate or infertile (dependent tax deductions and Flex childcare spending under section 125). If the government has to pay you to have health insurance (Section 125 health insurance tax exemption) then I guess you should just pay it out of pocket or just stay sick. The main difference is all of those deductions never go away, while hybrid and EV tax incentives are sunseted at volume and time restrictions.

  18. Narg says:

    Very nice write up. I agree about GM air damns getting in the way sometimes. But, considering they give up to another 5% in fuel economy, it’s hard to hate them. Also, the Ford brakes have always had a much more linear progression to them, in all their vehicles. GM tends to prefer a very non-linear brake pressure format. I think the GM format gives much more control in daily driving. If GM would get the electronics as nice as Ford, then I’d never even consider a Ford. As, I find the driving dynamics of GM products much more to my liking.

  19. anal jerk says:

    The car possesses a 23 kwh thermally managed battery pack and Ford claims a 76 mile real world expected riving**** range. It is priced full of technological features at $39,995 before a $7500 federal tax credit.

    riving should be driving

  20. BW says:

    Can someone tell me how this and the Leaf are the only pure electric cars available when the Karma and two models from Tesla can be bought here?

    1. TeV says:

      To be fair, he also mentioned the Mitsubishi i-MIEV.

      Not mentioned was the Coda, which is also technically ‘available’ in the States (although in a very limited sense), but I think he was referring to widely-available EVs, or possibly even widely-available and affordable EVs (which may be why he skipped the well-known Teslas).

      However the Fisker Karma is an EREV (with a gas engine/generator) like the Chevy Volt, not a pure BEV.

  21. LewG says:

    I drove the Focus EV when it was here on tour a few weeks ago.(Atlanta, GA) As a Leaf owner, I was comparing them closely. The Focus presents itself as a more sporty and luxury style of car. I missed the ECO drive that the Leaf has. I found that I was driving more aggressively in the Focus. I didn’t really have time to explore the regen aspects, but it seemed to not feel as though there was any. I’m sure that a longer time with the Focus may allow me to feel it at some point. The Leaf has much more storage in the rear and with the rear seats folded down, there is ample room to do the “Home Depot” run. After driving the Leaf, I felt a bit claustrophobic in the Focus. I have arthritis in my neck and spine and it was more difficult the get in and out of the Focus. At this time, I am happy with my Leaf over the Focus, but time changes all things, so we shall what the future holds for these competitive cars.

    p.s. – I have had my Leaf for almost a year and battery temp has not been a problem.

  22. Rashiid Amul says:

    Great review Lyle.
    I love the last picture.
    The Volt is a much more beautiful looking car.

  23. BlindGuy says:

    Thank you Lyle for a great article. I am a fan of LED headlamps; so I was wondering if the FFE has them or what kind of headlamps and if LEDs are used for all other lights? I’m not sure why GM used the shutter system for the Volt headlamps; do you have any insight on that as well?

    1. Phil says:

      What does a blind guy need with headlights? =)

      1. BlindGuy says:

        Our 2010 Prius pkg. 5 has LED headlamps and even I can notice the visual improvement over standard or halogen headlamps because of the spectrum of light the LEDs provide. The other benefit is lower power consumption. How do you like your LED headlamps on your Leaf? BTW; approximately 80% of blind persons have some kind of light perception or limited usable vision. Most new magnifiers for spot reading use LED lighting for the improved spectrum of light and lower power consumption as well. Don’t worry; I don’t drive.

    2. Paul in NY says:

      According to the Ford website (Build it page: http://bp3.ford.com/2012-Ford-Focus?branding=1&lang=en#/MakeItYours/Config|Ford|Focus|2012|1|1.|……ELC.RET.44H.HAT.BEV%20VERSION.]), the Focus Electric has “LED taillamp accents” and “HID automatic headlamps with LED accents.”

  24. Phil says:

    I should point at that even though this EV (like others on the market) is relatively expensive, keep in mind operation costs are WAY lower, so over it’s life it will easily make up the added up-front cost.

    Right now EV battery systems are limited and expensive, but if we can continue to buy them anyway, we will get better batteries in the future as there will be a market for them. There will be a business case for development of better batteries, and this combined with a better public charging infrastructure, soon the range limitations will be a non-issue.

    Disclaimer: I am a Leaf owner and driver now for almost a year, and I love the Leaf! It provides for over 90% of my driving needs, and when it doesn’t, I simply trade cars or use a rental service. It’s so nice to hop in the car every time with a charged battery and not have to spend any time refueling at a gas station. It’s not unlike any other modern portable gear, you simply plug it in when you get home and unplug when you leave. Takes only a few seconds.

    1. Paul in NY says:

      This is my thinking exactly!!! Total cost of ownership for an EV should be SO MUCH lower when compared to an ICE! On a lease basis, the cost of a car like the Leaf is VERY comparable to a gas-powered Japanese econo-box, right? And for now, I think the Focus Electric lease is pretty close to the full monthly cost of a ICE Focus.

      Still,. It’s BEVs are NOT for everyone.. For now. There are a LOT of people who believe that less than 100-miles daily range is NOT enough. (And for those cases, having a second ICE car–a rental, an older second-hand SUV–more than makes up for it, I think.)

      But for me? Yeah… American-made EVs like the Focus Electric, please! Tells an American company like Ford that there IS a market for ‘em, because there are ENOUGH Americans who believe it’s time to REDUCE our DEPENDENCY on OIL (which ultimately funds people who HATE this country and gets us into wars we shouldn’t), support AMERICAN jobs (from Detroit auto workers to the power plant guys and gals who build the wind- and solar-farms which create the electricity on AMERICAN soil) and foster HOME-GROWN science and innovations (charging infrastructure, battery and power technology, etc.)!!!

  25. Josh says:

    Great review Lyle! An experience EV driver doing the review give much better perspective than a regular auto journalist thrashing a car for a week.

    Love the new site.

    I have had my LEAF a week short of a year, so I only have it for comparison to your review. For the most part it would be a great option compared to the LEAF, but I am not sure the Ford Sync is worth the 5k cost difference. Also, does it have heated seats/stearing wheel? This is of upmost concern to my wife ;)

    The major feature that is a deal breaker for me is no quick charge port. 6.6 kW compared to 3.3 kW is not a big deal for me. I only use Level 2 when I sleep, so I do not care if it is 3 or 6 hours to recharge.

    I have racked up just over 19k miles of driving the past year because of my 66 mile round trip to work. That was only possible because of the quick charge network here in Houston. If I am making an extra trip somewhere other than home after work, I plan on a 5 – 10 minute quick charge somewhere along the way. Even with 6.6 kW charging that stop would be 30 minutes to an hour and would definitely change my driving behavior.

    Keep up the great work. When do we get a Model S review!?!

    1. statik says:

      …about 4 weeks. Sorry, car is hard to come by atm, (=

  26. cfj777 says:

    i still think the upgrade to electric costs 21k. thats seems like an awful lot actually it seems like way to much maybe 7500 to much im thinking the tax credit is a bull s hit offer that the auto industry is giving up kickbacks from the feds. doesnt add up to me at all, if you give back the cost of a gas motor which is probably around 8 k that means 10k for just a body of the car. now you throw in the electric motor and your adding 30k to the 10k which is what just the body is worth, so 30k for an eklectric motor, no freakin way, im very suspicious of that,
    but having said that im an avid ev car lover and just waiting for the price to come down if all these rich people would jump on board and buy some of these. kinda like when the vcr came out they were 2 or 3 hundred or more, now a vcr dvd combo for 30 bucks at wongmart i mean walmart

    1. Mike Murphy says:

      You are assuming that the base model Focus and the advanced Focus EV are equivalent, when they almost certainly are not. (I can tell you for certain that the Volt and Cruze are not the same car with a battery being the only difference: the Volt is a much better built car with far more bells and whistles.) In addition, your idea of the cost difference being only $7500 is WAY off the mark, with a battery that size alone being well on the north side of $10 grand, and the car electronics are also more advanced. As stated before, the Focus EV should probably be compared to the tricked out ICE model Titanium which is ~$25 grand.

  27. Bill says:

    Thanks for the reviews. I’m looking forward to getting mine…… in a few months….. lol.

  28. pjkPA says:

    Good aricle Lyle…

    Good to see another electric hitting the road… as a commuter this is a good option.
    If you are spending $50 per week in gas… you are spending $2600 per year in gas…
    in this electric you will spend approx. $500 per year in gas depending on where your live and the cost of elec. So.. it’s simple … most people will SAVE ABOUT $2000 PER YEAR DRIVING ELECTRIC. NOW… in 5 years cut the initial cost by $10K… that brings this car to about the same as any average car on the road.

    As these facts sink in …. sales will continue to rise ….

    I’m trying to wait for the CUV AMP Voltec … trying…if my 11 year old Buick wasn’t running and looking so good… I would probably have a Volt.

  29. America1st says:

    Dennis, when are you going to run for Congress? I hope to be your first contributor. Thank God this country still has American-friendly innovators and leads like yourself. Thank you for all you’ve done to get the message out.

    CHEVY VOLT: American-made, American-FUELED. A car this country needs. God bless all the EVs helping us get off terrorist funding oil as well. Norway subsidizes the purchase at 50% of the total cost of a car, and their jobs are staying right there in the Nordic nation. We blindly follow outdated dogma all the time.

  30. America1st says:

    I’m looking at the Tesla Model S next. No more foreign oil in my garage. No more gas cans.

    Current owner of a fully loaded, White Diamond, all the bells and whistles here in Colorado. May everyone eventually follow Dennis’ lead. He inspired me to buy one of the Volt’s and I’m proud he helped me to help our country get off addictive oil sucking $400 billion out of our economy every year. To everyone else, Join the club as soon as possible.

  31. Caddiac says:

    Good review! I am glad that Nissan and Mitsubishi are not the only EVs available. B.roader offerings are good for everyone who wants to see the EV continue to develop. I drive my Leaf 56 miles a day with half of that interstate driving. I run my a/c, and only charge to 80% of the battery capacity. Since January 8th I have accumulated about 6500 miles on my Leaf. I charge every night and do not have to charge at work.

    I heard a Fox radio talking-head trashing electric cars a month or so ago. He said the technology was “not there yet”. What a moron!

  32. Paul in NY says:

    Good review!

    I’m anxious to test drive a Focus Electric. I was one of the “pioneers” for the Mini Cooper electric–and LOVED it! And I’ve test driven a Leaf… Even put a $100 reservation down for one–but took it back when the specs on the Ford came out. (My experience here with a BEV in NYC leads me to firmly believe a thermally-managed battery pack AND remote charging/vehicle conditioning will be vital factors!!!)

    And yes, it’s EXPENSIVE compared to a conventionally-powered Forcs–but not THAT far from a fully-tricked out Focus Titanium (which is about $30k).

    Still, I wouldn’t plan on out-right ownership of a Focus Electrics… Not with battery improvements right around the corner (Hello, A123!!). Besides, I hear there might be competing models down the road (sorry). For example, I heard Leaf’s 2013-14 model will have some sort of thermal management system. (Hmmmm… Imagine that!)

    Now, if ONLY Ford would stop yapping and actually start PRODUCING these things! :-(

  33. Modern Marvel Fan says:

    The Volt is superior down the road. All batteries will degrade over time. When Leaf and Focus battery goes down, the car will be useless… The Volt can and will still operate as a decent hybrid with 40mpg (37mpg mixed).

    1. econenviro says:

      Ford and GM are offering an 8 year 100,000 mile warranty. In 8 years, you still have 80% of the capacity. Not exactly useless. Hopefully there will be better cheaper batteries by then.

  34. Bill Olson says:

    Great review. I hope not just electric cars hybrid cars but also buses, planes, ships, and planes to the e-driven. The world is really trying hard to become green.

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  36. Michael says:

    I have 8,000 miles on my Focus Electric and really like it so far. Any annoyances are due to the Focus itself, not the electric drive train. Regarding the payoff, in Arizona where I am at there is a HUGE payoff that no one has mentioned: my commute is at heavy traffic times from one side of downtown to the other – in other words horrible. But, having an all electric car (same would go for hydrogen or 100% CNG) allows me to get special license plates that lets me to use the HOV lane on the freeway when I am by myself. This allows me to zoom past 7-8 miles of parked traffic everyday during my 24 mile commute. That is priceless, and not available with any plug-in or hybrid. Plus that special plate costs me less than 10 of the cost I would have to pay for a gas-powered Focus.

  37. Jim says:

    Our Ford Focus Electric (about 7,500 miles) is a pleasure. We use it much more than our good old Honda Civic, and estimate its miles cost about 1/5 those of the 32 mpg car. (That is for fuel, only.) (We get a good rate on electricity, charging at off-peak rates.)
    Cost for lease is now much cheaper than what I got into last fall: I recommend that.
    Wish Ford would push this car more — it is great — but maybe they do not want people to switch to cars that will not go into their Service dept’s much: the maintenance cost is LOW!
    (No changes of oil, belts, plugs, … or even brakes: the pads ought to last for ages, since almost all braking energy charges the battery rather than heating the pads.)