Those who own a new 2012 Ford Focus Electric could now drive in the less congested high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes after the California Environmental Protection Agency's Air Resources Board (CARB) finally gave its approval.
The California state gives owners a new $2,500 rebate and with the eligible $7,500 federal tax incentive, they can receive as much as $10,000 in tax credits. Recently, Focus Electric had become the most fuel-efficient five-seater in the U.S. with its 110-MPGe city fuel economy rating. When compared to the Nissan Leaf, it has higher power, passenger room and standard features and yet, it has half the charge time and cost.
Customers can choose from among 10 fuel-efficient engines that lead in several segments and uses powertrain technologies. With the approval of the car for California's Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP), owners of the gas-free Ford Focus Electric could save $10,000, and get access to the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane. Those who buy the Focus Electric in California could now apply to get a $2,500 tax rebate when the Focus Electric is bought or leased for 36 months or longer.
Aside from the state rebate, the Focus Electric is also eligible for the current $7,500 federal tax credit. On March 2, the Focus Electric was named as the most fuel-efficient five-passenger car in the U.S. with a certified 110 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city rating and 99 MPGe on the highway. The EPA certified this model to offer 105 MPGe combined, doing better than the Nissan Leaf by 6 MPGe while providing more motor power and more standard features. The 99 MPGe highway certification of the Focus Electric is better than the Leaf’s 92 MPGe rating.
When it comes to braking and handling, the new Focus Electric from Ford shares many of the qualities observed previously on the Focus models. The Focus lineup is known for being athletic and agile and the dynamic Focus Electric is certainly made from the same mold. It does not have a diesel or gas engine, and when you add in the excellent aerodynamics, its occupants experience a ride that is comfortable and quiet. Indeed, the Focus Electric is not only about reliability and efficiency but also about driving enjoyment.
The combination of the powertrain that is driven purely by electricity and the single-speed transmission means that response is excellent and acceleration is smooth when the accelerator is pushed down. Maximum speed of the Focus Electric has been measured at 84 mph or 136 km/h.
One feature that customers in the North American market is sure to love is how the driver connect technology, known as MyFord Touch, has been implemented for the Focus Electric. There is the Navigation System that is voice activated, HD Radio, Sirius Satellite Radio that has Travel Link, and the AM/FM/CD/MP3 Sony Audio that comes with 9 speakers.
The Focus Electric allows for a push button start and on the interior, the bench seat in the rear delivers a 60:40 split. On the outside are the aluminum 17-inch 15-spoke wheels. Safety and security are qualities that customers want and there are number of them equipped in the Focus Electric. There is the electronic traction control and six airbags. Hands-free telephone connectivity is made possible through SYNC and for the North American market, there is the MyKey.
That the Focus Electric is environment-friendly is not limited to the powertrain as it utilizes materials that are eco-friendly. The seat cushions for instance use bio-foam. Other parts inside meanwhile utilize recycled fabrics. According to Sherif Marakby, the Director of Electrification Programs and Engineering at Ford shared that the Focus stands apart from the other electric vehicles offered as it continues to have the driving quality and dynamics one would expect from a standard car.
The Focus Electric has many of the premium parts that are present on the gas-powered Focus, he added. However, the main difference is that it has excellent efficiency while offering a driving experience that is very distinct, continued Marakby.