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Ford is quick to point out how much superior the Focus Electric is compared to the Nissan Leaf

Ford officially announced its Ford Focus Electric at last year's CES. A little over a year later, Ford is announcing the EPA ratings for the 5-seat hatchback.
The Focus Electric is rated at 110 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) in the city and 99 MPGe on the highway (105 MPGe combined). Ford is quick to boast that the Focus Electric's combined rating is 6 MPGe better than the Nissan Leaf. For comparison, here are the combined MPGe ratings for some other electric and plug-in hybrids on the market:
Ford also points out that the Focus Electric has more passenger space, a faster charging system, and a slightly longer driving range (76 miles versus 73 miles) than the Leaf. However, while the Focus Electric may have better specs and economy ratings than the Leaf, you'll pay for it out of your wallet. The Focus Electric has a base MSRP of $39,995 versus $35,200 for the Leaf before a $7,500 tax credit.
“Ford is giving customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy regardless of what type of vehicle or powertrain technology they choose,” said Eric Kuehn, chief nameplate engineer, Focus Electric. “The Focus and Fusion are great examples of how we transformed our fleet of cars, utilities and trucks with leading fuel efficiency.”

The Focus Electric is powered by a 123hp electric motor and a 23 kWh lithium-ion LG Chem battery pack.
Ford recently announced that the upcoming Ford Fusion Energi would have an EPA rating of 100 MPGe.

Source: Ford

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By CharonPDX on 3/2/2012 8:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
How many vehicles does the average American household own?

Two. (2.28 is the statistical average, but I'll reduce it to the nearest whole number.)

How many miles does the average American drive on a daily basis?


That's not 36 each way, that's not 36 miles just commuting, that's the Federal Highway Administration's total average of all driving. So that includes short commutes and long cross-country drives.

So if a family generally owns two (or more) vehicles, and generally drives less than half 75 miles; having one vehicle that can "only" go 75 miles makes perfect sense.

Really, how often do *YOU* drive more than 75 miles with less than a four-hour break before needing to drive 75 miles again? Obviously, if for you, the answer is "daily", then this car isn't for you - just as a Lamborghini Diablo isn't for a mother-of-four. And obviously we aren't yet at a place where an electric vehicle can be readily used for cross-country trips.

But the Tesla S will do 300 miles (that's four hours driving at the fastest speed limit in the US,) per charge, and can recharge to 80% (240 miles) in 45 minutes on a quick-charger. While there are people who drive more than that in one solid go (I have at times,) with a quick-charger infrastructure equivalent to even 1/10th the gasoline distribution infrastructure, that would allow for cross-country drives with reasonable meal breaks for charging.

And the Tesla S (and other EVs) are also being designed to allow for automated mechanical battery swaps - so you could have an automated bay (similar to an oil change bay) that can swap out the battery with a fully-charged battery in about a minute. (Tesla has said they are looking in to having such battery-swap shops set up along I-5 on the West Coast so you could drive from Canada to Mexico with only limited 1-minute battery swaps. And they would rent you higher-capacity batteries for longer trips, so you could buy the cheaper smaller-capacity battery for commuting, and only rent the higher-capacity battery when you want to go on the long trips.)

By kmmatney on 3/3/2012 3:40:37 AM , Rating: 2
It still doesn't make much sense to buy this over a Volt. The Volt barely costs more, and is way more flexible.

By corduroygt on 3/3/2012 8:56:52 AM , Rating: 3
And it doesn't make sense to buy a Volt over a gasoline powered Focus, Civic, etc.

By Mint on 3/3/2012 4:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it does, as we've proven to you many times. Want a simpler comparison? Lease the volt for $350/mo, drive 1000 electric miles per month (40 miles * 25 days), and save $130/mo on gas. What kind of regular cars can you buy for $250/mo? Cars that aren't as well equipped as the Volt.

Many people love the silent, smooth ride as well, along with the instant throttle response. It's not something you can get in a regular car at this price range.

By corduroygt on 3/3/2012 4:15:56 PM , Rating: 2
Who is "we"? I don't recall seeing any proof whatsoever.
You're also portraying an ideal situation and failed assumptions.

Give it up, the Volt is a failure, they're shutting down the production line for over a month because it's not selling!!!

By Mint on 3/3/2012 5:28:27 PM , Rating: 1
Keeir has done it several times.

Instead of claiming failed assumptions, why not just say what they are?

The Volt's biggest problem is propaganda from tools like yourself, Limbaugh, etc. A lot of people looking for a $25k family sedan would save money in the long term and get a better car with the Volt.

By Keeir on 3/3/2012 6:08:20 PM , Rating: 4
I think there are many reason's why the Volt's not selling well

A) Gas has been below 3.50 for most of the release time. Volt makes more economic sense when the ratio of Gallon of Gasoline to kWh Electric is above ~30.

B) Surveys have shown that when it comes to purchasing a car, most American's want a payback period of 2-3 years for any fuel savings. (As a private comment, this is almost a failure of the US education system. The sheer innumeracy involved with the above statement is painful)

C) It new technology. Given that surveys have found that a majority of car buyers are fuzzy on how a Prius Hybrid works... the Volt is clearly a step above that in terms of technical knowledge

D) Too many "missed" promises. The Shape, the AER, the Range Extended MPG, the 100% Serial...

E) The EPA reporting. Given that people can barely think 2 years ahead, I think very few people get a sense of what 35 miles AER + 37 MPG really means... The Average driver will use ~.5 gallons of gas and 30 kWh of electricity to cover 100 miles. 75% of drivers will uses less than .75 gallons to travel 100 miles. Yet here we seem to only have people among the 10% or less than will use more than 1 gallon per 100 miles.

F) The size. 4 Seatbelts is too small for the US. Its the truth. I wonder how many families of just 3 insist on buying 2 5-7 seatbelt cars?

G) The Right Wing Propaganda certain doesn't help. Consider that Fox News stoops so low as to present stuff like this
and it pretty clear that either Fox is too stupid to know what a Volt does or it wants to mislead the public.

H) The right wing politicians, many of whom had opportunities to vote against Plug-In credits and ATVM loan program but did not, see the Volt as a means of scoring politic points.

I) The economy is terrible and consumer confidence is low

J) Public anger over "bailouts" seems to be almost 100% centered on the Volt. GM still sells more cars in the US than any manufacturer, and most of GM products get a pass... but almost never the Volt

K) Dealers screwed the launch. I still can't purchase one at MSRP in my area, despite the really large "inventory". It doesn't help when people read stories about the 55,000 Volt!

But I think that GM could do alot better marketing the car as well...

The Volt is better looking than the Prius.
The Volt can be driven just like a normal car.
The Volt can be driven just like an electric car.
The Volt does cost less to operate than any other gasoline car.
The Volt does offer unique features (3 year Onstar, smartphone connectivity...)
The Volt does allow people to swap foriegn oil for domestic coal and natural gas.
The Volt can be charged overnight to full range without a special garage outlet.
The Volt does produce less pollution per mile than all but Prius family and other full electrics.
The Volt is a better driving car than a Prius.

If your a Volt hater, go and drive one of those ~4,000 units spread across the country now. Go drive a Prius.

Ask yourself this simple question, how much more are you willing to pay to drive a Volt > Prius? Or a Cruze Eco?

Is it more or less than ~3,000 dollars (the price gap over 100,000 miles)? It is more or less than ~1,000 dollars (The price gap over 200,000 miles)?

Essentially, what does the Initial price of a Volt need to be before you'd be willing to buy one? How close is the Volt to getting there...

Think about if the EV-1 had a range extender? It would have been a 100,000! dollar car. In 15 years GM developed a range extended hybrid for 40,000. In 5-10 years, Volt 2.0 has a good chance of costing 30,000 or less (in 2011 dollars) if 200 dollar per kWh are developed the way Elon Musk and Enovia both foresee.

By Spuke on 3/4/2012 7:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
No amount of money would get ME into a Volt as I like sports cars BUT my wife would consider it for $30k. Since her commute is as long as mine (65 miles round trip), it would have to do better than 30 mpg on the engine. The only way I could see a Volt in the garage at its present price is if it did 50 mpg on the engine and 65 miles all electric. We have two cars presently and are looking to get a third.

For everyone pooping on Keeir's total cost calculations, the fuel mileage savings DOES have an impact on total costs. In our case, the mpg and maintenance savings from my wife driving a 40 mpg car vs her present truck will pay for the 40 mpg car. We save money until we pass $35k initial price then we start to break even then eventually lose money. I suggest doing the math.

By Keeir on 3/4/2012 11:43:19 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, that wasn't really the thrust of the question.

The Prius is a car with compromised driving dynamics.

The Volt is more like a small displacement turbo/tdi. Lots of low end torque, linear power, etc until you get up past 65 where it starts peter out... Not anywhere close to a sports car, but also not as much of a penalty box as a Prius.

Anyway, your a good example who the Volt doesn't work well for... get more than 50+ miles between charges and Diesels/Hybrids/etc make more sense. Going less than 25 miles daily is also not ideal.

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