Truth be told, the battery-powered Ford Focus doesn't draw the attention it deserves. Yeah, it's just a modified Focus with some electric goodies pack within, but it's still a significant electric vehicle (EV) that's all too often overshadowed by the dedicated, ground-up plug-in vehicle designs like the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt. Sorry Ford, but perhaps some more advertising would help draw the electric Focus out from the shadows.
Look, it's the first electric car charger that makes us think of a lightsaber. What you see above is the new 25-foot long "convenience cord" that Ford will make available with the upcoming Focus Electric. The cord is designed to be kept in the car (in a "designated spot" in the trunk) and used to get 120V charging when you're out and about. Ford unveiled the cord today and confirmed to AutoblogGreen that it will come standard with the vehicle.
As Ford prepares to start selling the Transit Connect Electric later this year and the Focus Electric in 2011, it has to thoroughly test the lithium ion battery systems used in these vehicles. To help accelerate the process, Ford has equipped all of its test vehicles and the battery packs being tested in the lab with wireless remote monitoring systems.
Ford executive chairman Bill Ford closed out the 2010 SAE World Congress with a reminder: "All the early cars were electric." Why do so few people remember that electric cars date back more than a hundred years? Ford suggested it's because, electric cars have "been around really for the past century or so, but they really haven't had mass market appeal." There's the answer: without mass market appeal, technologies will be forgotten.
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:
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.