After much industry buzz, Ford announced on Wednesday that it is beginning production on its Focus Electric - an a zero-emissions version of its popular model.
The Focus Electric will be the automaker’s first all-electric passenger car, and the company says it expects it to be the first EV 5-seater to get a 100MPGe fuel rating (that’s a consumption equivalent of 100 miles per gallon).
Ford also says the car will feature faster charging technology with a 240-volt charging station, allowing the car to charge fully in three to four hours - half the time it takes to charge up a Nissan Leaf.
The Michigan-based automaker is emphasizing the cost effectiveness of owning a Focus Electric as opposed to a conventional vehicle. For instance, the company estimates that it would cost a driver $2.10 to drive 80 miles (based on the average cost of a kilowatt-hour, $3.30), while a 30 mpg conventional vehicle would cost $8.80 for the same distance (based on a per-gallon cost of $3.30). The Focus Electric is expected to top out at a maximum speed of 84 mph.
The Focus Electric will be produced at Ford’s Wayne, Mich., assembly plant. Units will initially be available in California and the New York area, with availability expected to expand in 2012 to 15 other markets, including: Atlanta; Austin and Houston, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.