The Ford Focus Electric, which came off the assembly line last December, will be the first all-electric pace car at a NASCAR event.
The pace car will be presented at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, on April 25, and will perform pace duties, leading the field during NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series race at the Richmond International Raceway, three days later on April 28.
"Ford research shows the majority of Americans would consider buying an electrified vehicle but do not yet understand the different technologies," said Mark Fields, president of The Americas. "Highlighting the Focus Electric as a pace car is a fun way to educate consumers about the kinds of benefits our electrified vehicles deliver."
If Ford was looking for an opportunity to educate prospective consumers about EVs, they seem to have picked the right crowd. According to the automaker's research, around 35 percent of people who intend to purchase new cars are motorsports fans and 78 percent of them support NASCAR. The research also suggests that Ford race fans are 67 percent more likely to consider Ford products than general market consumers.
Ford claims its Focus Electric gets 110 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city, 99 MPGe highway, and has been certified to offer 105 MPGe combined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The automaker plans to make the model available in California, New York and New Jersey in the first half of the year, expanding to 19 U.S. markets by the end of 2012.