• Jan 11th 2010 at 12:01AM
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2011 Ford Focus – Click above for high-res image gallery

We have a full run-down on the all-new 2011 Ford Focus elsewhere today, but there is one aspect of the car that Ford officials declined to discuss in very much detail at our preview just before Christmas, the upcoming EV. One thing we did learn for certain from spokeswoman Jennifer Moore is that it will officially be badged as the Focus Electric when it comes to market in 2011.

When we first saw the development mule at the 2009 Detroit Show, Ford would only say that the production version would be based on one of its C-segment vehicles but declined to be pinned down on the body style. When we spoke with line director Gunnar Hermann about the sedan and hatch, he told us that both styles are based on the same floor pan which has been engineered to accommodate the lithium ion battery pack. So it's possible that we could see the Focus Electric as both a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback.

That should make for a very interesting comparison against the Nissan Leaf, which will appear in test fleets later in 2010, but won't see retail availability until a year or so after the Focus Electric.

[Source: Ford]


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      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess we're talking about the leno car. this is the first actually green vehicle from Ford? about time you might say.
      that said, isn't it fairly well established that a pure EV of the conventional heavy soft steel kind which the focus most certainly will be, is not a viable mass production vehicle? that only two types of really green vehicles can really take off and that's the range extended EV for the range freedom and the ultralight fast recharge EV.
      a heavy EV, can that really fly? does Ford know this and it's only lip service to the world..

      either they're stupid or they're the same evil as always.. maybe both

      I want to like it because it's electric but if it's electric just to fool us..
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is the state of the art for weight reduction, mainly using conventional materials but some carbon fibre and so on:
        http://www.autoblog.com/2009/12/02/volkswagen-up-lite-concept-at-2009-la-auto-show/

        This is not just VW, they were leader in an industry effort to check out weight reduction.
        So it looks like good gains will come in for cars in the 2013-16 timeframe
        • 5 Years Ago
        The weight/price tradeoffs of an EV vs an ICE car, or even a hybrid, are very different.
        The problem is that you have a further trade off, especially for the larger manufacturers, for the economy of mass production available by using a frame designed for ICE vehicles and building an EV for a run in the thousands or tens of thousands at most.
        This focus seems a reasonably good stab at a first generation vehicle.
        By 2015-ish we should be able to do quite a bit better.
        Batteries should have improved substantially, as in the doubling of energy density for the Leaf and AESC.
        EV being in contemplation has also brought into sharper focus manufacturers efforts to reduce weight and improve the efficiency of ancillary electrics.
        The advances led by Volkswagen in the Ultra-light program should be ready for production by this time, as will LED lights etc.

        In any case lithium battery production can't be suddenly ramped, so volume production of EV cars won't be possible until around 2015.

        For the moment and for the next few years plug-in hybrids may lead the way, and they are less constrained by weight.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chris, the effect of increased weight on rolling resistance is obviously not small. go out and push a person on a bicycle, then push a car. any rolling resistance reduction trick you can do on a heavy car you can also do on a light car...

        think people. this is important. cars have to drop in weight dramatically and it is easily possible. not 20% but more than 50% and that's cars. idiotic vehicles such as 'SUV's have to go entirely.
        if we do things right it will be hugely advantageous, not only saving all the world's coastal cities from global warming. we can actually make flying cars if we think lean. is that not cooler than a dumbass SUV
        • 5 Years Ago
        "...isn't it fairly well established that a pure EV of the conventional heavy soft steel kind which the focus most certainly will be, is not a viable mass production vehicle?"

        When the Honda Fit and many other light weight conventional cars are built with high strength steels, I think your conclusion is incorrect. As for range, it is all in the battery capacity. How much do you want to pay?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Additional weight adversely affects fuel economy in two ways:

        1) Increased rolling resistance. This effect is small, and can be countered by increasing tire pressure.

        2) More energy is required to accelerate to any given speed. In conventional vehicles that additional energy is wasted in braking, but EVs and hybrids can recover a substantial amount of that energy by regenerative braking. The end result is that additional weight has much less effect on the fuel economy for hybrids and EVs than it would on ordinary gassers.

        The upshot is, the automakers should use practical and cost effective ways to reduce weight for their hybrids and plug-ins, but weight reduction is less critical than it is for conventional cars. Extreme weight reduction measures like aluminum frames and carbon fiber components are not practical for moderate cost EVs, but may be standard on high end high performance plug-ins like the Tesla Roadster and Fiskar Karma.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am familiar with the up lite and I like it a lot but it's nowhere near the improvement that could actually be achieved and easily. they are still thinking heavy.

        and more importantly they are still thinking like they are owned by oil companies. and they are. you can't buy the up lite. nor the 1L. and the years tick by while they sell old heavy super polluting cars.
        big auto is still our enemy and they win as long as you don't realize this
        • 5 Years Ago
        you are very wrong DasBoese. the way to make an EV cheap is to do as I say. light weight means everything is easier.

        and the way you can realize just how important weight is to energy consumption is to first run a person on a bicycle at 10km/h for 1km. then push a car at 10km/h for 1km. the first you can probably do with relative ease. that last will kill you.

        think

        using composites for body structure and the rest similarly lean is absolutely key. it would allow EVs to take over immediately.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nah. The effect that weight has on EVs isn't nearly as big as many seem to think. It does affect acceleration and performance just like in a regular car, of course, but the impact on range shouldn't be terrible because more weight also means better regenerative braking. Aerodynamics play a much more important role in that regard.

        What EVs of any kind (BEV, PHEV) really need to take off in the mass market is a competitive price. If you want to make it cheap, it's very hard to get around using steel as the main structural material.
        Plus, there's quite a bit of weight reduction potential left in the traditional steel unibody construction.
        • 5 Years Ago
        wincros, what will the honda fit weight that you speak of? if you can make a light strong car with steel, I'm all for it but I'm talking about cutting the weight of cars by more than half.

        and no it's not just a matter of how much you are willing to pay. that's the main point. if you halve the weight and drag you get double the range for no more money on the battery pack. or the same range for half the price. and it's not just a gain on the purchase cost, it benefits driving cost, pack replacement and repair cost.

        it really cannot be overemphasized how important weight and drag optimization is and how much there is to improve without going exotic. not just smaller.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Essentially this is exactly what I am looking for.
      DI 2.0L for great performance and economy and 6spd manual for more fun.

      C&D link indicates the aimed to be quieter than a Camry...
      http://www.caranddriver.com/news/car/10q1/2012_ford_focus-auto_shows

      This is likely my next car, now my 99 just needs to hold together.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Commenting in the wrong thread/post? DI 2.0L... in an electric Focus?
      • 5 Years Ago
      My guess is no wagon. That is what the C-Max and Grand C-max are for.
      • 5 Years Ago
      One can talk about composite bodied EVs until you're blue in the face, but it looks like they're going to be rather expensive with steel bodies.

      Some people seem to want a car to have lots of power and a weight of 2000 pounds. The American car buying public will not stand for a car that sounds like a tin can whenever a door is closed. Additionally, the public is not willing to pay big bucks for a stripped down model, meaning, air conditioning, premium stereos an all the features one can get in a non-EV. That means weight, folks.

      Note that the Chevy Volt is supposed to cost upwards of $40,000 with a steel body.

      It will be interesting to see how any of those crying about the weight of EVs will pony up the 40 large ones for the priviledge of plugging in the car at home .
      • 5 Years Ago
      IMHO, based on looks alone, the Focus EV beats both the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf. If they could only manage to get the range in the 120-150 miles, it could become the undisputed EV champ.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Only hoping that they will make a stationwagon too, at least for the European market.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, a wagon please. And bring it stateside. There are a lot of folks here who haven't had the chance at an economical C-segment wagon since the last Focus wagon in 2007.

        I love the looks of this car. I'd almost given up on replacing my '95 Corolla Wgn with a vehicle that could match its 30mpg average fuel economy. Hatches are nice, but most just can't match a true wagon's ability to swallow up a bunch of stuff.

        Bring it Ford.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My guess is no wagon. That is what the C-Max and Grand C-max are for.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would rather they put an eco tech range extender in it and it would be perfect. Consider an engine costs Ford about $2,000 and you can easily give up a mere 10 miles electric range worth of batteries for the same $2,000 (optimistically assuming the same battery cost as GM is rumored to be paying of $1000/ AVAILABLE kWh and the optimistic energy efficiency of 200W/mile), its definitely worth it to go with range extenders.

      Ford just doesn't want to go through the engineering hassle of EREV technology although they are definitely working on it with their PHEV Escape test fleet, (but still not an EREV obviously). GM had the leg up in EREVs since had engineered a prototype of a serial hybrid back in 1999 and they could use their 2 mode hybrid technology as a springboard to create the software that liaisons between the battery, regen braking, and generator produced power etc.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I Agree, that in the looks department this does beat the Volt and of course the Leaf...which isn't hard. Its all going to boil down to specs and price.
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