The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has certified the upcoming Ford Focus Electric as having a mpg equivalent of 105 miles per gallon of gasoline, Ford Motor Co. announced. The Focus compact electric car carries an EPA rating of 99 mpg equivalent in highway driving and 110 mpg equivalent in city driving.
Since electric cars and plug-in hybrids use sources of power different from gasoline-fuelled autos, there is a need to establish a more understandable and simple measure so that consumers could compare the non-petrol and petrol vehicles.
To simplify the comparison, the EPA instituted the mpg equivalent, which measures the average distance travelled per unit of energy consumed.
The Focus Electric bested other established battery-powered vehicles in terms of mpg equivalent. The Nissan Leaf has a 99 mpg equivalent while the Chevrolet Volt plug-in has a 94 mpg equivalent, according to data provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Focus Electric also got the better of the Leaf in terms of range, as it could cruise for 76 miles on a single charge, as certified by the EPA. The agency rated the Leaf as having a driving range of 73 miles on a single charge.
However, the Focus Electric is quite more expensive than the Leaf, with a starting price at $39,995 compared with the latter’s $35,200. Wes Sherwood, a spokesman for Ford, said the Focus Electric is eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit. However, the Leaf is also eligible for the tax rebate, being an electric car. The prices exclude tax, title, license/registration and destination charges.
Some may think that as an electrified offering, the Ford Focus Electric wouldn’t really offer the driving enjoyment typical of its conventional counterpart. But, that isn’t true with the Ford Focus Electric. Its all-electric powertrain and single-speed transmission have been designed to deliver immediate response, seamless acceleration and a max speed of 136 km/h (84 mph).
This is complemented by the fact that the Ford Focus Electric shares much of the steering and handling as well as braking feel with its conventional Focus siblings. Moreover, drivers and passengers alike will be able to enjoy a comfortable and quiet ride thanks to the Focus Electric’s excellent aerodynamics and its silent electric powertrain.
Sherif Marakby, director of Ford's electrification programs and engineering, remarked that unlike other electric vehicles, the Ford Focus Electric is still as dynamic as a traditional car. He noted that while Ford Focus Electric shares several premium components and features as the conventionally powered Focus, it possesses a unique level of efficiencies and driving experience.
Ford has provided the new Focus Electric with a wide array of standard safety and security elements like six airbags and electronic traction control. The North American version of the Focus Electric features MyKey, hands-free SYNC telephone connectivity, MyFord Touch driver connect technology voice-activated Navigation System, Sirius Satellite Radio with Travel Link, HD Radio and a nine-speaker Sony Audio (with AM/FM/CD/MP3 capability) as well as push button start.
A 60/40 split rear bench seat is also included as standard equipment. Moreover, the North American version of the Ford Focus Electric rides on 15-spoke 17-inch aluminum wheels. As an environmentally conscious vehicle, the Ford Focus Electric extensively uses eco-friendly materials like bio-foam seat cushions and recycled fabrics.