Appliance Cars: Ford Launches Focus Electric At CES

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
appliance cars ford launches focus electric at ces

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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2 of 14 comments
  • Stryker1 Stryker1 on Jan 08, 2011

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

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Jan 10, 2011

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

  • Bullnuke Well, production cuts may be due to transport-to-market issues. The MV Fremantle Highway is in a Rotterdam shipyard undergoing repairs from the last shipment of VW products (along with BMW and others) and to adequately fireproof it. The word in the shipping community is that insurance necessary for ships moving EVs is under serious review.
  • Frank Wait until the gov't subsidies end, you aint seen nothing yet. Ive been "on the floor" when they pulled them for fuel efficient vehicles back during/after the recession and the sales of those cars stopped dead in their tracks
  • Vulpine The issue is really stupidly simple; both names can be taken the wrong way by those who enjoy abusing language. Implying a certain piece of anatomy is a sign of juvenile idiocy which is what triggered the original name-change. The problem was not caused by the company but rather by those who continuously ridiculed the original name for the purpose of VERY low-brow humor.
  • Sgeffe There's someone around where I live who has a recent WRX-STi, but the few times I've been behind this guy, he's always driving right at the underposted arbitrary numbers that some politician pulled out of their backside and slapped on a sign! With no gendarmes or schoolkids present! Haven't been behind this driver on the freeway, but my guess is that he does the left lane police thing with the best of 'em!What's the point of buying such a vehicle if you're never going to exceed a speed limit? (And I've pondered that whilst in line in the left lane at 63mph behind a couple of Accord V6s, as well as an AMG E-Klasse!)
  • Mebgardner I'm not the market for a malleable Tuner / Track model, so I dont know: If you are considering a purchase of one of these, do you consider the Insurance Cost Of Ownership aspect? Or just screw it, I'm gonna buy it no matter.The WRX is at the top of the Insurance Cost pole for tuner models, is why I ask.