Will the NASCAR faithful find solace with the harmonious blue waves and leaves within the Focus Electric graphic wrap instead of lightning bolts atop a scene from the apocolypse including fire and brimstone?
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- April 26, 2012
Two 2012 Focus Electric pace cars were unveiled today at Virginia’s State Capitol by Ford’s chief nameplate engineer for Global Electrified Programs, Eric Kuehn. The wrapped vehicles are prepped and ready to be the first all-electric vehicles to pace a NASCAR Sprint Cup event.
Rant #1 and #2: Mike Lynch, NASCAR’s managing director of Green Innovation pointed out this marks another historic moment in the sport’s history. While trying to green NASCAR’s image with corn based E15 ethanol and raceways with solar panels providing power for the track and encompassing facilities, the fact remains over 10,000 gallons of fuel will be consumed and the exhaust spewed through the mighty machines that are void of any
Back to the Focus Electric pace cars …
The Focus Electric marks the latest Ford NASCAR moment. In 1998, it was the first manufacturer to compete with a four-door sedan which means absolutely nothing but Ford was also first to use a hybrid to start a NASCAR event when the Fusion Hybrid served as pace car for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2008. That last bit was newsworthy!
Rant #3: I tried to watch last week’s NASCAR event hosted at the Kansas Speedway on its 1.5 mile oval but… During one of the first commercial breaks Richard Petty shows up hyping STP oil treatment. During this non-sensical advert, he hyped its performance enhancements for a mythical “Left Lane Club” showing drivers on public roads doing what they do best. Speeding which as we know is responsible for 1/3 of the deaths on the nation’s highways and slowly drains our standard of living with as much as $.5 Trillion USD leaving the country to purchase the always more expensive black stuff. It was a disgusting ad no matter how toned down it was and I had to turn off the action walk away to perform other more productive things like report on the Prius v.
All said, marketing to NASCAR folks probably means 0 sales but it will be displayed in full view a number of times throughout the course of the race with a few million probably watching it on TV.
Back to the Focus Electric for good this time.
The Focus Electric is currently America’s most energy-efficient and practical automobile that provides an EPA certified 110/99/105 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) city/highway/combined.
In the release, Ford compares the 76 mile range, $39,200 Focus Electric to the 73-mile range, $35,200 Nissan Leaf with its 106/92/99 MPGe city/highway/combined rating. At $0.11/kWh, the difference in the cost of refueling a Focus Electric and a LEAF over 100,000 miles at their combined figures is a miniscule $135 USD. Battling over the decimal points at this point in time is a lesson in futility.
Ford’s Focus Electric includes a 6.6 kW onboard charger compared to the LEAF SL’s 3.3 kW unit. The $37,250 USD LEAF SV includes a Level 3 DC charger which bests all in terms of short charging times of course.
The US EPA lists both the Focus Electric and LEAF as having the same 90 cu. ft. of passenger volume. The following is a real world example of this.
2012 Ford Focus Electric Competitive Comparison
Ford Focus F&R seating layout (not the BEV but they have the exact same dimensions and platform)
Nissan LEAF F&R seating layout which proved to be more roomy and comfortable.
Cargo volume of the two BEVs is also listed the same by the EPA at 23 cu .ft.
Where the two truly separate is their displays.
What the Focus Electric provides over and above the LEAF is a more thought out configurable display(s). The LEAFs incorporation of an iECD was genius whereas the Focus uses that and a lot more with yet another all new iteration of SmartGauge with EcoGuide. We have previously reported on the SmartGauge with EcoGuide extensively within the Ford Fusion Hybrid and its transition to the Focus Electric. Simply stated, no other manufacturer offers better display screens than that included standard within the confines of the 2012 Focus Electric. Nobody!
Some of our SmartGauge with EcoGuide early and current reporting details:
Configurable, educational and beautiful displays offered within the Focus Electric. They are even more stunning in person.
Other Ford Focus Electric highlights include:
- SYNC with MyFord Touch
- MyFord Mobile enablings access via smartphone or Web-based interface to perform key tasks, such as monitoring a vehicle’s state of charge and current range or locating charge stations and planning routes to find them
- SmartGauge with EcoGuide as displayed above.
- Lithium-ion batteries are covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile component warranty.
- The Charge port activates a light ring that illuminates the port twice when plugged in. The light ring then illuminates in quadrants as the car charges. Each quadrant represents 25 percent of the maximum battery charge.
- Recycled fiber made from 100 percent post-consumer and post-industrial content is used in the seat fabric with the equivalent of 22 plastic, 16-ounce water bottles in each car.
Production of the Focus Electric began in December at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, MI. Retail availability began in California, New York and New Jersey. The Focus Electric will be available in 19 markets across the U.S. by the end of the year.
We will have a lot more on the Focus Electric and the future of Ford just two short weeks from now at the regional short lead in Chicago next Thursday May 3rd.