Lignotock, butterflies abound in new Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

The new Focus Electric is packed full of green touches, from the EV-driver-in-training dash to soy-based foam in the seat cushions to something called Lignotock, the car is designed to be eco-friendly inside and out. What's Lignotock? Ford says it's a material derived from 85 percent wood fibers that sits inside the door to lighten the car and offer better sound-deadening benefits.

That interactive dashboard is meant to help drivers maximize their range and assist drivers in planning their trips. The two 4.2 inch LCD screens on either side of the speedometer show highly customizable displays featuring basic information such as charge status, distance to charge point, and range details. Additionally, the system coaches you on how to optimize the regenerative braking system.

Ford's chief engineer for HMI, Driver Controls and Infotainment, John Schneider likens driving an EV to driving a Formula One car:
A race car driver has to budget his or her driving style to reconcile the car's fuel capacity with the distance to the finish line. Electric vehicle owners are required to do the same thing, and our innovative budgeting screens will help drivers understand exactly what they can accomplish – and how they need to drive – given the available charge.
Before beginning a trip, the driver may input destinations and the next charge point through the eight inch screen of their MyFord Touch Navigation System. The navigation system then advises the driver on the best way to complete the trip or informs him/her that the trip is not feasible based on distance of travel desired and charge levels at that particular time. Just as the Ford Fusion Hybrid grows leaves on a digital tree to visually reward fuel efficient driving, the Focus Electric displays butterflies (inspired by the "butterfly effect") to represent the range beyond the next charge point; more butterflies equals greater range. We don't know how this affects the waves crashing into Tokyo.

[Source: Ford]
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* Ford Focus Electric offers customers environmentally friendly options throughout, which, coupled with advanced engine technology, deliver zero-emissions driving in an all-around green vehicle
* A material called Lignotock is used behind the cloth on the door. Derived from 85 percent wood fibers, this lighter application results in a weight reduction and provides better sound-deadening benefits compared to conventional glass-reinforced thermal plastics
* The eco-friendly appeal of the all-new Focus Electric even includes the application of green manufacturing processes at Michigan Assembly Plant, where Focus and Focus Electric will be built

Dearborn, Mich., Jan. 19, 2011 – The environmentally friendly reach of the Ford Focus Electric goes beyond its zero-emissions motor. Focus Electric combines recycled and renewable materials, green technologies and innovative manufacturing processes to make the car green from bumper to bumper.

"An electric vehicle is already considered a green vehicle, but Ford wanted to go a step further by looking at ways to make the materials inside the Focus Electric more eco-friendly as well," said Carrie Majeske, product sustainability manager, Ford Motor Company. "Using recycled or renewable materials in lieu of petroleum-based materials allows Ford to minimize the amount of virgin materials used in the Focus Electric."

The Focus Electric is not only green in areas where customers expect it to be, but also in places they might not, like in the seat cushions. Soy-based foams, which are used on more than 20 Ford vehicles, will be used in Focus Electric, with seat cushions shaped from 8 percent soy-based content. A material called Lignotock also is used behind the cloth on the door. Derived from 85 percent wood fibers, this lighter application results in a weight reduction and provides better sound-deadening benefits compared to conventional glass-reinforced thermal plastics.

"One of the more impactful things we are doing is finding a way to increase the use of recycled materials in resins. We have a strategy that specifies the use of a large quantity of post-consumer recycled material in a range of plastic applications," said Majeske. "Pop bottles and milk jugs eventually become part of components like underbody shields, wheel arch liners and air cleaner assemblies."

By using more recycled content in resins, Ford can further reduce the amount of oil-based plastics in vehicles. This also cuts down on overall oil consumption. Applications of the post-consumer plastics also include carpets, roof lining and replacement bumpers.

Building green
Ford, Detroit Edison and Xtreme Power are teaming up to establish one of Michigan's largest solar power generation systems and electric vehicle charging stations at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., where Focus Electric will be produced. Ford will work with Detroit Edison to install a 500-kilowatt solar photovoltaic panel system, which will be integrated with a 750-kilowatt energy storage facility that can store 2 million watt-hours of energy using batteries – enough to power 100 average homes for a year.

Several new and innovative production processes at the plant will help make the vehicle even greener. For example, a new three-wet paint process applies all three coats of finish in sequence before oven curing, ensuring high-quality paint finish and a significant reduction in energy use.

Eco-friendly charging
With charging playing a major role in Focus Electric ownership, Ford also looked to make the vehicle's home charging stations greener. Jointly developed with Leviton, a leading North American producer of electrical devices, Ford is offering a charging unit that has an outer shell made from up to 60 percent post-consumer recycled material.

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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 163,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit

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