Today, the only two pure electric vehicles on the United States market are the Tesla Roadster and the Nissan LEAF. They will soon be Ford Focus Electric and Tesla Model S. General Motors and Honda also plan to enter the market with their Spark EV and Fit EV models, respectively. The Focus Electric is next up, and Ford has announced the start of production this month at its Michigan Assembly Plant.
The Focus Electric is Ford’s only all-electric, zero-emissions vehicle. The company says it is the world’s first five-passenger electric production vehicle with the equivalent of 100 MPGe. More important though is the Focus Electric’s quick charging ability.
The car takes only three hours to recharge its battery pack when using a 240V charging station. That is half the time of the Focus Electric’s nearest competitor, the LEAF. That means the car charges at a rate of 30 miles per hour. Ford hasn’t released official statistics on range between charges, but it is targeting around 100 miles.
The Focus Electric definitely isn’t cheap though – Ford is charging $39,995, just a hair under 40 grand. That is a few thousand more than the Nissan LEAF. Ask us which one we’d choose though and there is a clear answer: the Focus Electric. It appears to be a much more well-developed vehicle, using the refined Focus as its basis.
It’ll be an interesting sales race to watch between the LEAF and Focus Electric. People have been comparing the Chevrolet Volt with the LEAF, and surprisingly the LEAF has done better. The Focus Electric will be sold in just a two markets from the get go – California and New York. As production ramps up, the car will be sold in 19 markets: Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, Tucson, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
So if you live in one of those, you’re in luck. Ford determined these to be the markets best suited to electric car sales, at least in the beginning. It remains to see if availability will be expanded nationwide as time goes on.