New Ford Focus Electric looks to blow Leaf away

Ford plans to launch an electric version of its best-selling Ford Focus hatchback, itself a new car launched in 2011, with some headline-taking green attributes.

Taking on the Nissan Leaf and new Renault Fluence, the Ford Focus will boast fabric which uses recycled plastic bottles as Ford looks to outdo its rivals as a green car option.

Each new 2012 Ford Focus Electric will include as many as 22 plastic bottles, saving them from landfills in the US where it will be built.

Carol Kordich, lead designer of Sustainable Materials for Ford: “We aimed to make the Focus Electric the most overall sustainable vehicle available to consumers, from using clean technology to overall vehicle efficiency.”

However, customers are expected to be more interested in the practicalities of the electric car which takes a different route to the likes of the Nissan Leaf because it is based on a current production car.

Ford has not announced the expected range of the new Ford Focus Electric but it is expected to be over 100 miles on a single charge and, thanks to faster charging technology, could undercut the 6-8 hours it takes to charge a Nissan Leaf.

It will also include technology which has not been seen in an electric car in the UK before. This includes satellite navigation as standard and technology plucked from the current Ford Focus such as voice control, Bluetooth and remote charging.

Ford plans to sell the car in UK Ford dealerships from 2013 and a price under £24,000 has been suggested once the government’s £5,000 grant is taken into consideration, putting it on par with the Nissan Leaf and over £4,000 below the price of a Vauxhall Ampera.