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Ford's electrifying targets for Focus EV, C-Max hybrids

Thrust and thrift: Ford claims that to drive a Focus Electric for 130 kilometres costs about a quarter of what it would to do the same journey in a petrol-powered equivalent.

Focus Electric, C-Max hybrid twins set to lead the energy-efficiency field for Ford

Ford logo16 Dec 2011

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

FORD is expecting its Focus Electric – under consideration by Ford Australia to be its first local EV – to achieve an electric consumption equivalent of 100 US miles per gallon (2.4 litres per 100 kilometres), which would make it the first five-seater to achieve such a figure.

The Blue Oval also is also aiming for class-leading fuel efficiency with its C-Max Hybrid compact people-mover, with at least an 800 kilometre range for its plug-in hybrid C-Max Energi sister car.

In late 2010 the US Environmental Protection Agency introduced the Miles Per Gallon equivalent (MPGe) system of measuring ‘tank-to-wheel’ energy-efficiency for alternative-fuel cars, equating 33.7kWh of electricity to one US gallon of petrol.

The Focus Electric’s closest rival is the Nissan Leaf, which achieves 99 MPGe, while the four-seat Mitsubishi i-MiEV scores 112 MPGe and the Chevrolet Volt range-extender (also a four-seater) is rated at 93 MPGe when running in all-electric mode.

Ford claims the cost of electricity (based on US prices) required to drive the Focus EV for 130 kilometres is $US2.10 ($A2.12), compared with $US8.80 for a competitive petrol-powered vehicle, based on a petrol price of $US3.30 per gallon.

27 center imageLeft: Focus EV. Below: C-Max Hybrid.

As GoAuto has reported, Ford is offering Focus Electric customers an opportunity to further reduce costs and emissions through a discounted 2.5kW rooftop solar system in a joint venture with US supplier SunPower, claimed to offset the equivalent of driving 19,300km per year.

The Focus Electric also debuts technology that Ford claims enables the 28kWh lithium-ion battery pack to be fully charged in three to four hours from a 240-volt outlet, half the time required to charge a Nissan Leaf, which uses a slightly smaller 24kWh li-ion battery.

Last month Ford began taking orders for the Focus Electric through selected dealers in California, New York and New Jersey, with another 15 markets set to take the car as production ramps up next year.

The second half of 2012 will also see the C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid go on sale and although it has not yet issued any official fuel consumption figures for the pair, it has high hopes that they will lead the field.

Ford says it is aiming for its plug-in C-Max Energi to achieve at least an 800 kilometre combined range, meaning it will require less frequent fill-ups than the smaller Chevrolet Volt, which is rated at 610 kilometres.

It is also targeting a better MPGe rating than the plug-in Prius for when the C-Max Energi is operating in electric-only mode.

Ford is also expecting its C-Max Hybrid to outperform the Toyota Prius V (rated in the US at 5.6L/100km) on fuel economy and claims its ‘powersplit’ technology enables the operation of electric mode at higher speeds than is possible with other hybrids.

The electrified Focus and C-Max vehicles will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, which the company says is partly powered by one of Michigan’s largest solar energy generator systems.

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