Translogic 37 hits the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show is search of the newest and latest in transportation and technology, and this year's show didn't disappoint. Stuffed between the latest tablets, digital cameras and 3D TVs were plenty of automotive gadgets and hardware, headlined by the debut of Ford's first EV, the 2012 Focus Electric.
Ford wouldn't provide an official range, but execs did say it would be "close to 100 miles," putting it right in line with its closest competitor, the Nissan Leaf.
More importantly, the Focus Electric will have one major advantage over the Leaf – a short charge time. The Focus EV's on-board charger has a maximum capacity of 6.6kW and Ford says a full charge should take between three and four hours with the optional 240v charging station. That's roughly half the time it takes to top-up the Leaf with its 3.3kW on-board charger.
The Focus EV will be built in the U.S. at its Wayne, Michigan Assembly Plant, with the lithium-ion batteries being built right down the road at Michigan's Compact Power Inc. The battery pack is liquid cooled and heated, and has a total capacity of 23 kwh. The permanent magnet electric traction motors makes the equivalent of 123 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. By comparison, the Nissan Leaf makes the equivalent of 107 hp and a U.S.-market, gasoline-powered 2012 Focus will make about 155 hp. Like the gasoline powered Focus, the Focus Electric is front-wheel drive and will have seating for five, although its top speed has been reduced to 84 mph.
The Focus Electric's entire propulsion system will be located within the engine compartment – a manufacturing trick that could keep the overall cost of the car down. Ford hasn't announced pricing yet, but we do know it will include features like MyFord Touch, voice-activated nav, 17-inch aluminum wheels and a nine speaker Sony Audio system with Sirius Satellite Radio and HD radio will be included as standard equipment. The decision to max-out the amount of standard kit should help to increase perceived value, similar to what Volkswagen did with the last generation Jetta TDI.
Ford has already announced plans to get the Focus Electric on the market as early 2012 and will be one of five new electric or hybrid vehicles the company plans to sell by 2013. Expect a full road test of the Electric before the end of the year.