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Ford unveils all-leccy Focus for 2012

Li-ion battery liquid cooled for longevity

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CES 2011 Ford has formally wheeled its new all-electric Focus out of the garage, and promised to put it onto European forecourts in 2012.

The car company said the leccy Focus will charge more quickly than Nissan's rival Leaf and offer better miles-per-litre pricing than GM's Ampera, as the Volt will be called in Europe.

Ford Focus Electric

The charge time is 3-4 hours with a 240V supply, and a full battery will let the Focus hit a top speed of 84mph (136kmh).

The car contains software from Microsoft that automatically initiates charging during off-peak and other times when electricity is billed at a discounted rate. Unfortunately, this feature may only appear on the US version of the car.

The lithium-ion batteries come from LG, and are slotted into a liquid temperature stasis system to ensure the battery doesn't get too hot or cold, either of which can seriously impact battery capacity and longevity.

However, Ford didn't say what the Focus' range will be, stating only that the car is "designed to offer enough range to cover the majority of daily driving habits of Americans".

Given most Americans live in urban environments, we think it's safe to say the Focus will do for commutes, but you're not going to drive as far as you can with a conventionally fuelled car. Expect its range to run to 80 miles (128km).

The faster you drive, the quicker the battery charge will be consumed, so Ford said it has put a lot of work on the car's dashboard information system to better help drivers maximise range or performance, or get the best balance between the two, depending on the needs of any given journey.

Ford Focus Electric

The info will be presented on a 4.2in LCD, and will tie into the inevitable smartphone app.

Ford said it has yet to determine where the electric Focus will be built in Europe. ®

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