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1/7/2011
05:22 PM
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CES: Ford Focus Electric Goes Fuel-Free

Ford's first electric car, the company says, gets a better miles-per-gallon equivalency rating than the Chevy Volt and charges twice as fast as the Nissan Leaf.

Ford plans to begin selling its first electric car toward the end of 2011 in the U.S. and in Europe, the first of five electric vehicles the company has committed to delivering by 2013.

CEO Alan Mulally introduced the new Ford Focus Electric in a keynote presentation at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), calling it a great step toward bring affordable fuel-efficiency technology to market.

Ford claims the car will deliver a better mile-per-gallon equivalent (mpg-e) than the Chevrolet Volt, GM's gasoline-assisted electric car, and will be rechargeable in three to four hours, half the time required to recharge the electric Nissan Leaf.

According to the EPA, the Volt gets an estimated 93 mpg-e on electricity, 37 mpg on gasoline, and 60 mpg average. The all-electric Leaf gets a 99 mpg-e rating from the EPA.

The Ford Focus Electric has a top speed of 84 mph. Its range on a full charge was not disclosed. Ford said only the car will "offer enough range to cover the majority of daily driving habits of Americans."

The price was not announced.

Microsoft will be providing software for the Ford Focus Electric to help owners charge their vehicles when electricity rates are low. Ford expects owners will recharge their cars on a daily basis and is working with various utilities to accommodate expected demand for electricity.

Ford has invested in a new version of its MyFord Touch driver connect technology to provide information that's specifically relevant to electric vehicles, such as the distance to the nearest charge point and the car's expect range. The company is working with Best Buy's Geek Squad to provide service for in-home charging stations.

Ford will also be offering a smartphone app called MyFord Mobile that, in conjunction with a Web site, will allow car owners to monitor certain vehicle settings and charge settings.

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