By on January 8, 2011

Fears of appliance cars finally manifest themselves. More car manufacturers that ever showed their wares at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the fact that there is a Detroit Motor Show (opening Monday to the press) notwithstanding. Ford notably used CES to take the wraps off its 2012 Focus Electric car.

Range-wise, it will deliver the same 100 miles (YMMV) the Nissan Leaf promises. But Ford has something else up its sleeves: A beefier and cheaper charger. The Focus Electric will require just a three- to four-hour charge on a 240-volt home outlet charging station, Sherif Marakby, Ford’s director of electrification, told Automotive News [sub]. The Leaf will hang up to seven hours on the drip of a 240-volt charging station before its battery is replenished.

Ford’s heftier home charging station will cost $500 to $700 less than those for the Leaf or Volt. Now for an interesting twist: After you bought your Focus Electric from your friendly Ford dealer, another retailer will spring into action: Best Buy. They and their Geek Squad will manage the installation the charging station. Let’s see how that goes down with Ford dealers. Dealers are usually very protective of the identity of their new customers.

Nissan remains (at least outwardly) unimpressed by the rapid charge. Nissan has studied the charging behavior of their customers and “predicts that 80 percent of vehicle charging will happen at home overnight. Whether their electric car finishes charging at 2 a.m. or 6 a.m. will be irrelevant,” said a dismissive David Reuter, spokesman for Nissan North.

And WTH, if customers insist on a faster charge, Nissan will probably sell them a beefier charger. They already have a DC Fast Charger that fills the Leaf in 30 minutes (consult with your local utility company for symptoms of grid anxiety before you consider this amp-sucking monster at home), and what the hell, “we intend to continue exploring faster home charging options,” Reuter said.

Ford will follow the Focus Electric with a Transit Connect Electric, two lithium ion battery hybrids and a plug-in hybrid. Expect more Ford booths at future Consumer Electronics Shows.

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14 Comments on “Appliance Cars: Ford Launches Focus Electric At CES...”

  • avatar

    Actually, Nissan would probably be reluctant to sell a Leaf owner the high-voltage quick charger.  The company cautions that repeated charging with high-voltage can shorten battery life.

  • avatar

    I saw the Focus electric vehicle last night on the nightly news.  The Aston Martin DB inspired grill and front valence look much cleaner than than what Ford tacked onto ICE powered Focus’s front end treatment.
    Someone at CES said that electric vehicles may reach 2.3% of the automarket by 2020.  So, I guess Ford felt the need to show up at the table.
    Seriously, if I owned the new Focus and ever needed to replace the front clip in front of the fenders and hood, I’d special order the one for the Focus EV.

  • avatar

    Is that the same electric Focus that was on Jay Leno’s prime time show last year?
    Also, did Best Buy make a deal with the devil to install all of these (formerly) OEM items? First they’re the installer for the OnStar mirror, and now this.
    I have to laugh. Now we have grid anxiety to go with our range anxiety. Lovely.

    • 0 avatar
      Sgt Beavis

      Leno’s Electric Focus is based on the last generation Euro Focus. This one is based on the current generation that will be on sale world wide…

      I’m not so sure I would trust Geek Squad to install anything. They are particularly incompetent when dealing with computers. Is Best Buy now going to hire certified electricians to install a new 240vac circuit breaker and a new line to the garage.

      All that said, this is a really great looking car. Makes me almost want an electric car…….. Almost..

    • 0 avatar

      In most places it would have to be installed by a licensed electrician because it has to be wired into the panel and meet code etc.  I don’t think anyone on the Geek Squad would be willing  to work with live 240v anyway.

  • avatar

    Couldn’t find a photo of the actual Focus EV? Even Autoblog managed to find one…

    • 0 avatar

      Couldn’t or wouldn’t? – that is the question I had, but declined to mention it in my post.

  • avatar

    i want one, BUT how much? and would the differential of buying a gas one alone factoring the need for a different long range vehicle with the EV.
    sidebar it’s nice to finally see an electric/hybrid car thats not awkward looking, but will that hurt it’s sales because it isn’t “unique” looking enough?

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    Who here owns a laptop? Who here is happy with its battery life?
    Lithium Ion is better than Cadmium Nickel but it’s still a joke. One year ago my laptop battery held a charge for four hours. Now it’s down to two. In a year it will probably be one.
    Why would a rational consumer purchase a product that is going to need its most expensive parts replaced within a few years? Who in their right mind, considering battery technology still sucks, would purchase a vehicle expecting batteries to withstand the temperature fluctuations and daily wear that a vehicle creates? The whole thing is a joke. The electric car is snake-oil.
    Not to mention the environmental impact of mass producing batteries… long live ICE.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    If it takes half as long to charge on a given line, it can only be because it is getting half the charge. Just remember Watts = Amps x Volts, always and everywhere.

    • 0 avatar

      No, if it takes half as long to charge there are two possible reasons and a range of combinations of the two reasons.

      It can the same power for half the time or it can be twice the power for half the time. And that leaves all the in between combinations such as 1.5x the power for 2/3 the time.

      You are way oversimplifying the math if you think time is the only variable.

    • 0 avatar

      No . . . on a given line, only the voltage remains constant at 240V, and you can pull different amounts of current.  This higher capacity charger provides higher current and therefore higher power, which leads to faster charging.
      For most electrical devices voltage is fixed, so ‘beefier’ or ‘high power’ usually means ‘high current’.

  • avatar

    so this is something we’ll actually be able to buy.
    Any word on price/release date/availability?

  • avatar

    “Let’s see how that goes down with Ford dealers.” Especially when the Geek squad shows up in a black and white VW Beetle.

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