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Ford could unveil a 200-mile, $30,000-ish battery electric car later this year to go properly head-to-head with the upcoming Chevy Bolt.

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When we saw a note about a recall for the Ford Focus Electric, our first reaction was, "is that a new one? Because it's getting hard to tell." This year, we've already seen the Blue Oval's all-electric hatch recalled for non-working door chimes and a "wiring incompatibility" in the headlights. The car is also reportedly under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the "Stop Safely Now" issue.

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Everything's coming up batteries. Over in Ann Arbor, MI, the University of Michigan is announcing a new lab to test out new battery chemistries and concepts, all with an eye towards building better electric cars. The basic idea is to see if these "experimental battery chemistries" will work on a small scale before automakers and suppliers build a whole bunch of them. The lab is scheduled to open next fall and will be available to "any automotive or non-automotive firm," according to The Detroit

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Ford may not have a dedicated hybrid or EV platform, but it does have a new "Electrification Center of Excellence" down the street from its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford announced yesterday that it now has some 1,000 engineers devoted to electrified vehicles, most of whom work "under one roof" at the facility.

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Ford may not have a dedicated hybrid or EV platform, but it does have a new "Electrification Center of Excellence" down the street from its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford announced yesterday that it now has some 1,000 engineers devoted to electrified vehicles, most of whom work "under one roof" at the facility.

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Coming soon to select Ford dealers, at least those on the coasts, is the most efficient five-passenger car in America, the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, which the EPA has certified gets 105 miles per gallon equivalent, combined. This is better than what the Blue Oval was estimating publicly in December, when it said the all-electric Focus should get 100 MPGe. The Focus EV is also rated for 110 MPGe in the city and 99 MPGe on the highway. As you can read in the press release below, Ford is using the

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Coming soon to a select Ford dealer near you is the most efficient five-passenger car in America, the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, which the EPA has decided gets 105 miles per gallon equivalent, combined. This is better than what the Blue Oval was estimating publicly in December, when it said the all-electric Focus should get 100 MPGe. The Focus EV gets 110 MPGe in the city and 99 MPGe on the highway. As you can read in the press release after the break, Ford is using the official numbers to go aft

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To coincide with the announcement Ford made yesterday about the Focus Electric getting an estimated 100 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe), the automaker invited a group of journalists to the Michigan Assembly Plant where it will build the EV alongside the gas-powered Focus and other vehicles. In fact, the MAP has already begun building Focus EVs, since the car goes out for its first deliveries in January. You can go on a visual tour through the plant in the gallery below.

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MyFord Mobile app – Click above for high-res image gallery

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If you're General Motors, you're focused on promoting the plug-in hybrid nature of the Chevrolet Volt. If you're Nissan, then your message is all-electric for the Leaf. If you're Ford, though, and are going to introduce five new electrified vehicles with a variety of powertrains by 2012, then your messaging is a little more complicated.

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Ford Motor Company has announced plans to invest $135 million into two of its Detroit-area plants, creating what the company calls a "center of excellence" for electric vehicles (EVs). The investment will be divided between the company's transaxle plant in Sterling Heights, MI and its Ypsilanti battery plant. Combined, Ford says, 220 new jobs will be created including 130 at the transaxle plant, 40 at the battery facility and 50 engineers to be split between the two sites.

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The graphical representation above really tells the whole story here, but we'll try to offer up a little extra insight anyway. Deloitte Consulting conducted a widespread survey covering several aspects of the automotive industry, and you can read the whole report here. The graph above illustrates just one finding, but it really paints a picture of the overall results of the survey.

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Ford Motor Company's development of upcoming battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) has been, so far, an outside job. Electric versions of the Transit Connect and the Ford Focus were developed with the help of suppliers Azure Dynamics Inc. and Magna International Inc., but Ford has not ruled out producing future BEVs in-house. As Ford's director of electrification programs Sherif Marakby stated:

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Ford Transit Connect Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Ford Transit Connect Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

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We heard from Ford CEO Alan Mulally yesterday about his company's overall work with the U.S. government on energy policy. He's not the only Ford representative at the show worth talking to at the Washington Auto Show, though, and we got to sit down with Nancy Gioia, Ford's director of global electrification, for an update on the company's plug-in vehicle projects.

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Jay Leno's Green Car Challenge Ford Focus EV - Click above for high-res image gallery

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Jay Leno's Green Car Challenge Ford Focus EV - Click above for high-res image gallery

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