Despite the all-electric powertrain, the new Ford Focus Electric car will boast the same handling, ride and technology as the new 2011 Ford Focus, says Sherif Marakby, Ford’s director of Electrification Programs and Engineering.
He said: “This is the real thing, not just an electric powered car, but a car that has all the technology you would expect from a conventional vehicle.”
“Many of the folks that drive the car are shocked at how much of a real car this is – I mean – you drive it – it’s got even more an instant torque because of the electric motor versus gas engines and it just goes and you drive and feels very comfortable, it’s just a fantastic riding vehicle.”
Ford is planning to take on the likes of the Renault Fluence and Nissan Leaf with the new Ford Focus Electric but the brand is taking a different approach by adding electric technology to an existing model.
The current Ford Focus hatchback and ST (estate) is one of the best-selling models in the UK and the most recent 2011 version includes a large amount of new technology.
This includes things such as Ford SYNC, which features voice activation technology, Bluetooth and a DAB digital radio.
It also comes with technology designed to help the car park itself and safety features such as a blind spot information system.
An electric version of the Ford Focus is expected to share this technology alongside additions such as a battery charge indicator and a map to the nearest charging points.
The Ford Focus Electric is expected to boast a range in the region of 100 miles but Ford is currently investigating charging technology which could half the time needed to fully charge the lithium ion battery, giving it a distinct advantage over electric cars currently on sale.