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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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RE: WTF?
By Jedi2155 on 3/3/2012 2:01:02 AM , Rating: 5
The battery is designed to handle > 3000 cycles with 20% loss capacity, using 80% of the charge. 3000 cycles means, if you charged it EVERYDAY (weekends included) fully drained, you would get 8 years of use before it reaches 80% of its original capacity.

Since the battery pack is about 24-26 kWH, Ford designed it so only 80% of that is usable (so you can go the full 76 miles charge, and still only use 80% of the pack), you can get 76 miles * 3000 = 226,000 miles, where at that point the pack will have degraded approximately 20%, meaning after that you might start seeing some range loss. As since they didn't use the whole battery to begin with they can start using some of the remaining capacity, so you should still see the full 76 mile range after 226k miles. At that point you should already start looking for a new car.

EV batteries are not the same as laptop/iPhone batteries. They are far more durable and safe. My laptop battery has degraded to 70 capacity after 3 years. Definitely not the same quality.


RE: WTF?
By Mint on 3/3/2012 12:48:14 PM , Rating: 3
Yup, recharging completely every day is actually the best use of the battery.

If you do 3000 full charges, it cost you ~$7000 of electricity, but will save you $20k-30k of gas on those 226k miles even when compared to a 40MPG car. That's a fantastic savings, and the battery will keep on being useful, too.

Realistically, though, buyers will only do 1/3-1/2 of that mileage, as they can't take it for long trips, so payback time is probably 10 years or more. IMO, PHEV is better for maximizing gas savings from each kWh of battery that is produced.

I suspect that they would have high residuals, too, because even the reduced used capacity will save a lot of gas money 10 years later. Given the low volumes, I think the automakers should take a risk with attractive lease rates and the gov't should figure out a way to make some of the subsidy available for leases.


RE: WTF?
By Jedi2155 on 3/5/2012 9:48:01 AM , Rating: 2
PHEV's are probably the best and most practical vehicle for everyone right now. But then the argument is whether you should go for a blended parallel hybrid like the Prius where you have a really small battery to supplement the daily 30 mile commute to create around 80-90 MPG, or go pure EV like the Volt in those 30 miles, and "occasionally" use the engine.

The Volt is far more complex, but far more capable. You get a much better vehicle for your dollars, but you're also paying a lot (from a manufacturing standpoint as I'm sure Toyota is making a killing for their plug-in prius pricing.) for the extra capabilities of a super capable electric drive train.


RE: WTF?
By Calin on 3/5/2012 3:42:28 AM , Rating: 2
Degraded battery (even from 100% to 80%), means not only range loss but maximum power loss too.
Not that it would matter very much (I think). And, IF what Ford says about the battery is true, it will probably hold you more than 200k miles, after which you might want a new car anyway.


RE: WTF?
By Jedi2155 on 3/5/2012 9:44:01 AM , Rating: 2
This is true, but they've designed for that as well. Although how well, they've done it...is still an unknown. There will be some power loss, but most likely not noticeable by most consumers.


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