Today, Ford began assembly of the Focus Electric at a factory in Saarlouis, Germany. This marks the dawn of a new age for Ford as this becomes the automaker's first European-built, fully-electric vehicle.
The Focus Electric is rolling down the same production line that is used for the ICE version - like it's done in US.
To integrate Focus Electric production directly into the established Focus production line at Saarlouis cost Ford €16 million. Next year, Ford wants to produce the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and the all-new Mondeo Hybrid in Europe, too.
With the line now rolling, Ford hopes to deliver the first Focus Electric to European customers beginning in August this year.
Technically, the European version is identical to the US-built one. Traction drive develops maximum power of 107 kW. The maximum speed is (135 kmph) 84 mph and the range in the NEDC cycle is 162 km (about 100 miles). The Europe-built Focus Electric uses the same liquid-cooled battery pack from LG Chem.
Barb Samardzich, vice-president of product development at Ford of Europe, had this to say of the Focus Electric being built in Germany:
"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. It’s a car that addresses the mobility demands and environmental concerns of today’s car buyers in the most direct way possible – combining performance and advanced technology with a zero-emission powertrain."
"The start of Focus Electric production in Saarlouis is hugely significant for Ford in Germany, and underlines Ford’s position as a leader in automotive innovation,” said Mattes. “We are giving customers the Power of Choice so they can decide whether a fuel efficient conventional powertrain or an electrified vehicle is right for their needs."
In some ways though it's strange in that the Europe-built Focus Electric will have the same J1772 charging inlet like in the US and the same 1-phase 6.6 kW on-board charger. Isn't Ford one of the US-German automakers alliance for standard unification J1772/combo in US and Type 2/Combo 2 in Europe? Maybe Ford's decision here was to cut down on costs.
But still, this is a huge step for Ford in that it now joins the extremely limited list of automakers (Renault-Nissan) who manufacture pure electric vehicles on more than one continent.
Gallery: Double Click to Enlarge