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If you thought pacing a NASCAR race with a Ford Fiesta was an odd choice, prepare to be properly shocked. Ford has announced the company is once again heading out onto the nation's tri-ovals, this time with the Focus Electric. The automaker claims the battery-powered hatchback will be the world's first all-electric pace car when it leads the field at the Richmond 400 later this month. The public will get its first shot at seeing Focus Electric Pace Car on April 25, when Lt. Governor Bill Bolling drives the EV to Richmond International Raceway.

Earlier this year, Ford announced the Focus Electric will offer buyers a range of around 75 miles depending on driving conditions. We assume that figure will fall off precipitously at pace speed. With around 123 horsepower on hand, Ford has been quick to brag that the company's EV offers buyers more horsepower than the Nissan Leaf. Of course, at $39,200, it is also $4,000 more expensive.
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Focus Electric To Be First All-Electric Pace Car

APRIL 16, 2012

* Ford's innovative marketing campaign for the 2012 Focus Electric continues as NASCAR selected the car to be the first-ever all-electric pace car, leading the field for the Sprint Cup Richmond 400 on April 28
* Ford was also first to use a hybrid to start a NASCAR event when the Fusion Hybrid served as pace car for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2008
* Ford research shows that approximately 35 percent of new car intenders are motorsports fans and 78 percent of them support NASCAR. Additionally, Ford race fans are 67 percent more likely to consider Ford products than general market consumers
* Ford also was the first to show off a 2013 model race car when it unveiled its new 2013 Fusion stock car in January


DEARBORN, Mich. -- Ford Motor Company is again making NASCAR history this month as the all-new Focus Electric becomes the first all-electric pace car to ever lead the field for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Richmond 400.

The all-new Focus Electric will perform all pace care duties at Richmond International Raceway on April 28.

"Ford research shows the majority of Americans would consider buying an electrified vehicle but do not yet understand the different technologies," said Mark Fields, president of The Americas. "Highlighting the Focus Electric as a pace car is a fun way to educate consumers about the kinds of benefits our electrified vehicles deliver and show people our commitment to provide Ford customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy in the vehicle that best meets their needs – from EcoBoost®-powered gasoline vehicles and hybrids to plug-in hybrids and full electrics."

Approximately 35 percent of new car intenders are motorsports fans and 78 percent of them support NASCAR, according to Ford research. Additionally, Ford race fans are 67 percent more likely to consider Ford products than general market consumers.

This marks the latest in a line of groundbreaking moments for Ford in NASCAR. In addition to being the first manufacturer to compete with a four-door sedan as its flagship model in 1998, Ford was also first to use a hybrid to start a NASCAR event when the Fusion Hybrid served as pace car for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2008.

In January, Ford became the first manufacturer to show off its 2013 NASCAR race car when it unveiled the new 2013 Fusion racer to media in Charlotte, N.C.

The Focus Electric pace car will be unveiled for the public at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond on April 25. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling will deliver the Focus Electric to Richmond International Raceway, where it will serve as pace car for that weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.

"Our fans are customers," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. "And just like in racing, they expect both fuel economy and performance from their daily drivers, and that's what Ford is delivering."

Fuel-economy leadership

The all-new Fusion range, which includes EcoBoost, a hybrid and the Energi plug-in hybrid version, is the best example of how Ford is giving customers true power of choice for fuel-efficient vehicles.

This year, Ford will offer nine vehicles reaching an anticipated 40 mpg or more. Plus, the company is building six new electrified vehicles by the end of this year.

"The Focus and Fusion are great examples of how we transformed our fleet of cars, utilities and trucks with leading fuel efficiency -- by electrifying entire vehicle platforms, instead of one-off specialty models," said Eric Kuehn, chief nameplate engineer, Focus Electric.

Ford will offer fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines in 11 vehicles in 2012, up from seven in 2011, tripling the production capacity of EcoBoost-equipped Ford vehicles. This expansion of fuel-efficient offerings will be led by the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine in the high-volume Escape compact utility vehicle and Fusion sedan.

Delivering up to 20 percent better fuel economy than conventional engines, EcoBoost uses smaller overall size combined with turbocharging and gasoline direct injection to bring customers the power they want and the fuel economy they need.

Focus Electric is America's most fuel-efficient five-seat car that offers the equivalent of 110 miles per gallon (MPGe) city, 99 MPGe highway and operates entirely on battery-generated power. Focus Electric has been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to offer 105 MPGe combined.

By comparison, the Nissan Leaf is certified at 106 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway and 99 MPGe combined. Focus Electric features more passenger room, more motor power and a faster charging system that can nearly halve the charging time of the Leaf.

Production of the Focus Electric began in December at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. More information about MAP can be found here.

Ford is ramping up Focus Electric retail production in the first half of this year for dealership availability in California, New York and New Jersey. By the end of the year, Focus Electric will be available in 19 markets across the U.S.

More information about Ford's electrified vehicle lineup -- including press releases, technical specifications and other related material -- can be found online here. Photos of the Focus Electric can be found here.

"The Ford Focus Electric is a major statement of Ford's commitment to bring green innovation and performance together, demonstrating for NASCAR fans how conserving the environment, creating jobs and strengthening our country can be made to happen without compromise," said Mike Lynch, managing director of Green Innovation for NASCAR. "With the largest sustainability program in sports, the NASCAR family is proud of Ford Motor Company's accomplishment with the Focus Electric pace car and what that means in terms of the tremendous impact of American innovation now and in the future."


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  • 41 Comments
      nea
      • 2 Years Ago
      An electric at a NASCAR event? Now THAT's what I call proper trolling.
      Kuro Houou
      • 2 Years Ago
      75 miles on a charge and cost almost 40k?? who buys these things!! I would make it to work and probably half way back before running out of gas. Why don't they realize all these electric cars should have a gas backup engine just in case... I'm sorry they just aren't ready for prime time until they can at least do 150-200 miles per charge. Otherwise they need a ICE as a backup.
        KaiserWilhelm
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        The original automobiles were loud, uncomfortable, slow, and had terrible range...they should have quit right there! RIGHT?!
          suthrn2nr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @KaiserWilhelm
          didnt you read the other post? apparantly ICE engines have NO DRAWBACKS compared to EV's, even the first automobiles. even in the 70's most consumer cars were POS slow, loud, unsafe, etc. I personally can't wait until all that sweet low-end torque is available in civic/focus type vehicles
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        [blocked]
        John
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        There was a story here not long ago that stated the average car price is now at $30K, so $40K is not that far off. No one looking for an entry level car is going to buy an electric car. All electric cars are geared toward people with multiple cars and disposable income.
          Famsert
          • 2 Years Ago
          @John
          LOL. Are you on Ford's marketing team or something?
      tylermars.design
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hang on, let me get the usual BS out of the way so we can get to some intelligent/actually useful comments: This car is ugly, ev's suck, american cars blow, so glad ford didn't take bailout money, screw gm.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @tylermars.design
        [blocked]
          Fonin
          • 2 Years Ago
          wait, wot? not a GT-R? needs badges.
      Hamzah Mahmood
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's going to get booed off the track.
        suthrn2nr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hamzah Mahmood
        I hope not, that would just politicize electric powertrains even more. I honestly don't know how you can politicize a powertrain, it's another method of delivering power to wheels. Electric, ICE, Hybrid, Turbo, supercharger, hydrogen, all have pros and cons and as an auto enthusiast I enjoy the advancement of all engine technologies. Like I said in the Infiniti M thread, the hybrid was used to get V8 like acceleration, and the price is less than the V8 version of the M, but it has less space in trunk. So like I said, pros and cons to everything.
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      They better hope it doesn't pull a Fisker Karma on the track...
        • 2 Years Ago
        @The Wasp
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
      diffrunt
      • 2 Years Ago
      If EVs can't be offered at a less than ridiculous price, why bother? I wonder what the net profit margin is. EVs desperately need to lose ----weight , cost, & complexity. 4 inwheel disk motors , multi fuel microturbine gen, minimal batt pack--- neither new nor radical
        protovici
        • 2 Years Ago
        @diffrunt
        Takes time to bring down the price and complexity in new endevours. Same thing when horse and buggy still ruled the world. not everyone switch or could switch to an automobile. Type life cycle of new technology. Society seems to wait quick and less thought out solutions. Not gonna happen over night to fix a global concern on the next generation of automobiles.
          suthrn2nr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @protovici
          Danaon - wow, talk about misinformed, ICE have no drawbacks vs electric? -Multiple moving parts vs a handful in EV's -continues maintenance (i.e. oil change) -ICE destroys gas at idle while getting 0MPG Thats just off top of my head. I'm not gonna say EV is perfect heaven-sent vehicle, but to say ICE has no drawbacks is an overstatement. And you think the first cars were really that much better than horse and buggies? -Few gas stations, im sure in 1910 there werent many 7/11's around -low speed -low reliability -wooden wheels -Horse/buggy was cheaper -With the buggy, you could detach horse and ride faster or connect to buggy to haul I love ICE engines as much as anybody, but don't be so misinformed.
          Danaon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @protovici
          Your analogy fails. Horse and buggies had a lot of drawbacks that even the first automobiles don't. ICE powered vehicles have basically no drawbacks compared to electric vehicles. Yes, you use gas but it's still cheaper than paying extra for the electric version that has range issues. Furthermore, assuming that gas will eventually become so expensive that electric cars will be worth it is a pretty huge assumption. If gas gets that expensive... what's to stop people from just switching to CNG/LPG? CNG vehicles are less expensive than electric cars NOW, even though most aren't mass produced.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @diffrunt
        "EVs desperately need to lose ----weight , cost, & complexity." Batteries are heavy but given time you'll need less of them. Currently they are costly because they are relatively new technology. EV's are about 20 times less complex than a gas engine. They don't need a transmission - yet. Their motors have exactly one moving part.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @diffrunt
        [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Randy
        • 2 Years Ago
        Paint comes in a can! It's what you do with it that makes art!
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Randy
          [blocked]
      Dave R
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford may brag that the Focus EV has more power than the LEAF - 92 kW compared to 80 kW - about 15% more - but they forget to mention that the Focus EV also has a higher curb weight - 3691 lbs compared to 3354 lbs - about 10% more - so in practice the difference in acceleration should be minimal. Have there been any real reviews of the Focus EV including performance testing? I have not been able to find any reviews of it by the usual sources so far.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave R
        [blocked]
      Masschine
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope they have someplace to charge it during the race. One too many Green-White-Checkers and they could run out of spark.
      Brodz
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's also 4000 times better looking than a leaf.
      TauCephei
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who pays almost $40k for a car that only goes 75 miles? I would never be able to make it through a single day with this car. I guess if you live in a city and everything is right down the street...
        Eric G
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TauCephei
        I'm pretty sure you answered your own question.
      Kevin Kikuraz Gibson
      • 2 Years Ago
      now ive seen everything... -_-
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